A recent survey has found that no matter who is elected come Nov. 6th, American voters tend not to believe that either Obama or Romney will bring about any type of (positive) meaningful change to their lives over the next four years. Sentiments such as these can only lead to voter apathy and the overall weakening of the democratic spirit so central to the identity of the United States. The situation today is no less critical for pro-Israel students and organizations on campus, albeit with slightly less geo-political/world changing ramifications. There is hardly a shortage of pro-Israel organizations on most major campuses throughout the U.S., and a recent study has found that pro-Israel students and activists are more ideologically and religiously diverse than initially believed.
And yet, just as some argue that there is little distinguishing between Obama and Romney, comparing them to Coke and Pepsi, one could similarly make the same point for much of what has passed for pro-Israel activism on campuses in years past. Many of the pro-Israel organizations have been working with and targeting the very same students, along with co-sponsoring the same programming and events on campus, leaving one to wonder what the difference between, or the need for, all these different organizations was.
It is imperative, if pro-Israel organizations and activists want to have clout (and klout,) for them to consider the types of positive, meaningful change they are seeking to bring to the campuses and communities in which they are active, how they are unique from the other similar players in their field, and then determining the best way to go about bringing that vision to reality in a clear and strategic manner.
After all, today everyone knows that neither Coke nor Pepsi are particularly desirable choices for those who are health conscious, and the same can be said for the pro-Israel scene on campus. It’s time to offer students a healthier, more meaningful alternative to what’s become the standard, pro-Israel fare. The David Project’s new approach to personal advocacy and the Latte Initiative are just two examples of the recognition within the organization towards the importance of filling this crucial need.