Monday, March 17, 2014

New Ambassadors course at Haifa University

The 2014 academic course to combat the delegitimization of Israel has now started at Haifa University.

The curriculum of the university, " Ambassadors Online ," teaches students how to operate against the campaign to de - legitimize the State of Israel and now, after 2  experimental years, grants students starting this semester 4 credits towards their degree in the  Department of Interdisciplinary Studies .

" This is a program designed to train students who wish to explore, learn and ask what underlies the new anti-Semitism and the delegitimization of Israel , as represented , among others , by Apartheid Week , which is an expression of pure anti-Semitism . Ambassadors will train during the program to fight this phenomenon and learn how to research and teach the phenomenon "said Prof. Eli Avraham , academic supervisor of the program and Director of the Comper Center for the Study of Antisemitism.

" Ambassadors Online " opened two years ago as separate part of the graduate program and qualified for an Eligibility Certificate only. The program focused on ways to use the Internet in general and social networks in particular, to fight the de – legitimization of Israel .

Now, with the upgraded academic program , students will be required to ,not only be active , but also to analyze and investigate issues such as anti-Semitism sources old and new , public relations strategies , branding and more.

In the previous two years, the activities of the graduates of the program  recorded many achievements :
-            -  during operation " Pillar of Cloud " they set up a war room information center  presenting the      way Israelis saw the reality on the ground ;
-           -   initiated several advocacy missions abroad ;
-           -   created quite a lot of social media " messaging " that went viral on the Web , including                supporting decision of the actress Scarlett Johansson promoting the SodaStream company;
-           -   brought to Israel, journalists and bloggers from around the world and toured with them in              various cities and more.

Consequently, the program has won praise from public officials in the Foreign Ministry and current program coordinator Maureen Hayo - Hemo even represented the program in two various discussions held at the Knesset : A meeting of the Caucus on Public Diplomacy for academic boycott of Israeli universities and meeting of the Committee of Immigrant Absorption Anti-Semitism on the net.

All these have made the program a magnet for the students and this year nearly a hundred students sought admission to the program,  some students from other universities in Israel and even non- students. After a stringent screening process involving four stages 35 students were accepted from a wide range of ages , backgrounds and religions .

"This year we will focus on the students ability in analytical depth strategy – widening the network of Israeli diplomacy and a significant emphasis on the branding of Israel in the Social media ," said Hayo - Hemo .

"The image and stereotypes against Jews have not changed much among some Europeans, a fact that can be easily seen in the attempts to boycott or call to boycott that Israel faces . I'm sure students who will complete the course will receive tools for academic and practical work to cope with these prejudices," concluded Professor Abraham .

1 comment:

Christopher Proudlove said...

Good to hear of this course. I hope the students are told of the San Remo Treaty which became operative in 1923 and was unanimously agreed by the 51 members of the League of nations and subsequently became enshrined in U.S. law.
The treaty, taken on board by the United Nations in 1945, gave the future state of Israel the right to settle Jews between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, including the Gaza Strip, provided existing rights of Arab communities were not eroded. It is one of the biggest scandals of the 20th/21st centuries that this treaty is being airbrushed out of history.
I have just returned to the UK following 13 days in Israel with Christians for Zion founder Mike Fryer. Wherever we visited I found a horrifying lack of knowledge about this treaty which ought to be taught in every Israeli school. No wonder people in the West believe the Palestinian Arab lie that Jews stole their land.