Last week, Jewish community members from Seattle, Tacoma and as far south as Olympia, joined Ethan Felson, Geri Palast and Julie Bernstein of the Israel Action Network (IAN) for a series of workshops regarding the efforts at the delegitimization of Israel. The IAN is a new entity formed by the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council on Public Affairs as a critical network in the fight against these delegitimization efforts domestically and in the global community.
In Seattle, we have seen activists spearhead boycotts, attempt divestment, and pursue misleading and proactive advertising campaigns with the aim of undermining Israel's legitimacy. This series of six workshops provided attendees with different ways to combat these efforts in the Seattle area. During each session, discussions were held regarding the problems their individual communities have experienced, and how to properly organize their community and message their position regarding the controversial topic.
The two-day workshop series was a huge success. It opened dialogue about this issue in our community and helped local activists to think strategically about how they can mobilize their own communities and prepare them to talk with diverse audiences. The workshops brought together the community in a way that hasn't been done before, by bringing together a diverse group of people to combat this divisive subject.