Support, Invest, and Connect with Israelis and Israeli companies
In recent years, there has been an effort to revive Anti-Israel sentiment by using techniques similar to those implemented during the mostly ill-fated Arab economic boycott of Israel.
Historically, the goal of the Arab boycott is to isolate Israel from the world community through a lobbying effort directed against companies doing business directly with Israel and those using Israeli components in their products. The neo-Arab boycott movement of today seeks the same goal of collective punishment of all Israelis but this time through different tactics.
A network of individuals and NGO are working to revive the attempts at isolation through a mis-information propaganda campaign aimed at the only free country in the Middle East, according to the think tank Freedom House. Members of the neo-Arab boycott movement promote an effort called “Israel Apartheid Week” on college campuses across North America. The annual effort is devoted to spreading lies and hatred towards Israel every year. Here at Rutgers, we call it by its true name: HATE WEEK. Last year Rutgers Hillel Center for Israel Engagement (RHCIE) debunked HATE WEEK by providing opportunities for Rutgers’ students to learn about the Israeli people.
This year, RHCIE is going on the proactive with a campaign entitled Support, Invest, and Connect (SIC) which encourages engagement with Israelis and Israeli companies. As part of the SIC campaign, RHCIE created the SIC Rutgers petition to promote community support and in the spring RHCIE will host an Israel opportunities fair to encourage local young adults to invest their time and talent with Israeli companies. Every year dozens of Rutgers Hillel and RHCIE connect dozens of Rutgers students to Israel via Taglit-Birthright Israel and other opportunities to experience Israel first hand.
According to the New Jersey Israel Commission, civic leaders and elected officials appointed by the Governor to foster trade, cultural and educational exchange between the state and Israel, New Jersey benefits tangibly from its relationship with Israelis. Last year, Israel was the Garden State’s 14th largest trading partner, exporting about $740 million worth of New Jersey goods like computers, aircraft parts and electronic equipment. More than 70 Israeli companies have a presence in New Jersey, including Teva, one of the 15 largest generic pharmaceutical companies in the world. Teva employs 300 New Jersey residents at its Woodcliff Lake and Fairfield facilities. After Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv ranks second in the world for hi-tech startups. By continuing to invest in Israelis and Israeli companies, New Jersey is promoting the values of research and innovation that are central to the prosperity of New Jersey and the USA.
We call you, the Rutgers and New Jersey communities, to help us promote the SIC initiative and to help promote democracy and prosperity.