Israel on Campus Coalition

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ICC's official logo

The Israel on Campus Coalition is a pro-Israel umbrella organization founded in 2002 under the auspices of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.[1]

Mission and activities[edit]

ICC describes its mission as "to inspire American college students to see Israel as a source of pride and empower them to stand up for Israel on campus."[1] ICC coordinates groups and students to respond to anti-Israel activism by providing pro-active, pro-Israel information and programs.[2]

ICC sets out to achieve these goals by providing: leadership trainings for pro-Israel students and professionals, research and analysis on Israel-related activity on university and college campuses, rapid deployment of resources to respond to campus crises, and support for educational programs and materials to equip students with factual information and historical context to understand and discuss complex issues in the Middle East. [1]

The ICC collects and publishes data on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. It publishes an annual campus trends report on this topic.[3] According to promotional material distributed to potential donors ICC monitors Open Hillel, Jewish student groups who disagree with International Hillel's policy of non-cooperation or suppression of opinions critical of Israel.[4]

In 2016, ICC campaigned against Palestinian-American poet Remi Kanazi by secretly funding Facebook pages that appeared under the names of fake student organizations.[5] Asked in 2018 about the pages, Facebook removed them for violating their "policies against misrepresentation".[5]

According to Forward, the I.C.C. chartered its research team to spy on an Open Hillel gathering at Wesleyan University in 2016. In material that the ICC distributed to donors, the ICC indicated it would continue to monitor the Open Hillel Conference. The monitoring of Open Hillel by ICC has created American student concerns about how a well financed corganization with ties to Israel has built a "sophisticated political intelligence operation on U.S. campuses.[6]

National Day of Coexistence[edit]

The ICC declared October 14th, 2015 to be the "National Day of Coexistence." This was in response to the "International Day of Action" declared by Students for Justice in Palestine on the same date. The ICC said their goal was to "promote dialogue at colleges and universities across America, and we will raise funds for initiatives that build bridges between Israelis and Palestinians."[7]

Issues[edit]

BDS Stance[edit]

ICC stands in opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, stating that, "at its core, the BDS movement is rooted in anti-Semitism and the denial of Israel’s right to exist."[8]

Leadership[edit]

Directors[edit]

As of 2018, Adam Milstein and Harold Grinspoon are among the directors of ICC.[9]

Jacob Baime[edit]

Jacob Baime is the executive director of the Israel on Campus Coalition.[10] An experienced public affairs professional and campus organizer, Jacob Baime is an expert on pro-Israel campus affairs. As former National Field Director with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), he supervised a team of professional campus organizers, oversaw strategic campus initiatives, and managed AIPAC’s national training platforms for college and high school students. Baime most recently served as Area Director in AIPAC’s New England Region, where he was responsible for political, development and grassroots efforts in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Baime previously served as a political aide and as Campus Coalition Director to the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts.[11]

Speaking about the ICC's mission and tactics in an interview with Tablet Magazine, Baime said the group looks “to a broader set of issues that have great currency in the campus environment, such as racial, gender, and economic equality. We have seen how a handful of students, faculty, and outside agitators can turn a campus into a hostile and challenging place for pro-Israel students. They shift tactics constantly, and they are not interested in preserving the reputation of the campuses on which they operate. To the contrary, they want to make each campus a no-go zone for pro-Israel students. We will not succumb to this kind of intimidation, and we reject such false choices.”[10]

In August 2018, The Forward reported that "Baime, a savvy veteran of AIPAC’s campus political operation, took over as the ICC’s executive director in 2013. A 2008 graduate of Brandeis University, Baime stands out in the D.C. Jewish professional crowd for his relative youth and his polish. In late 2014 or early 2015, just a year into his role, Baime put the ICC on steroids. The ICC’s annual budget, which had hovered around $2 to $3 million, leapt to almost $8 million, far more than higher-profile groups, like the ZOA. And in the spring of 2015, according to a Jewish communal official who asked not to be named, Baime hired a political consulting firm to work on an Ohio State divestment referendum as it would a campaign for a state representative."[12]

References

  1. ^ a b c "Israel on Campus Coalition". Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  2. ^ Wisse, Ruth R. (23 March 2016). "March Madness, the Anti-Semite Bracket". The Wall Street Journal. New York, New York. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  3. ^ Stoil, Rebecca Shimoni (24 August 2015). "BDS gains campus cred in US, but pro-Israel efforts improving, report says". The Times of Israel. Jerusalem, Israel. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  4. ^ Josh Nathan-Kazis (September 25, 2018). "Campus Pro-Israel Group 'Monitored' Progressive Jewish Students". The Forward. Retrieved September 25, 2018. The monitoring of Open Hillel adds to an emerging picture of how the ICC has quietly used its $9 million budget, supplied by major Jewish donors like Lynn Schusterman, to discretely build a sophisticated political intelligence operation on U.S. campuses
  5. ^ a b The Forward and Josh Nathan-Kazis, Justin Elliott/ProPublica (September 12, 2018). "Pro-Israel Group Secretly Ran Misleading Facebook Ads to Target Palestinian-American Poet". Haaretz.
  6. ^ Forward, "Campus Pro-ISrael Group 'Monitored' Progressive Jewish Students," Sept 25, 2018
  7. ^ Baime, Jacob (13 October 2015). "On U.S. campuses, students call for intifada". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  8. ^ Staff (19 May 2015). "Pro-Israel campus group applauds Illinois anti-BDS legislation". Jerusalem, Israel: The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  9. ^ Leadership, ICC
  10. ^ a b Leibovitz, Liel (31 March 2016). "BDS, Inc". Tablet Magazine. New York, NY. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  11. ^ "Leadership Archive - Israel on Campus Coalition". Israel on Campus Coalition. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  12. ^ "A New Wave Of Hardline Anti-BDS Tactics Are Targeting Students, And No One Knows Who's Behind It". The Forward. Retrieved 2018-08-04.

External links[edit]