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New Organization Combats Exploding pro-Palestinian Movement on Campuses

As the BDS and pro-Palestinian movement on university campuses has exploded in the past year, Las Vegas casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam have launched a Maccabee Task Force to combat it.

Their method is through a combination of attack methods and winning back hearts and minds for Israel via social media pushes, cultural fairs and subsidized trips to the Jewish state.

Maccabee Task Force executive director David Brog says, “Our goal is to change the younger generation from neutral, if not opposed to, Israel to support of Israel.”

The group’s activities began this last semester at six California campuses, including UCLA, UC Irvine and San Jose State University, and will expand to 20 more college campuses this fall. 

The Adelsons and other supporters of Israel are alarmed by young Americans’ rising support for Palestinians. A Pew Research Center poll in May found that 27% of millennials now sympathize more with Palestinians, up from 9% in 2006 while their support for Israel has declined from 51% to 43%.

The mushrooming BDS campus movement has brought student governments at eight of nine UC undergraduate campuses to vote in favor of BDS. 
“It’s the No. 1 nonmilitary threat to Israel and the Jewish people,” David Brog said of BDS.

The Maccabee Task Force mainly aims to beef up positive education about Israel with “peace tents” for dialogue during anti-Israel campus events and Israel cultural fairs, complete with free falafel and iced coffee. It also targets lies about Israel perpetuated by Students for Justice in Palestine and BDS.

In the spring, they took South African students to Israel, then to San Jose State University to speak to Black Student Union members about what they had seen on their trip. The message: Israel is not an apartheid state as South Africa once was.

 “We will invest, we will maintain our presence and we will have the persistence to defeat it,” he said of the BDS movement.


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