As the BDS campaign heats up, particularly in California, national Jewish organizations from Hillel to AIPAC have been stepping up their efforts to get out the pro-Israel message.
Some folks don’t think the big guys are moving fast enough, so they’re starting their own grassroots efforts.
One such initiative is the San Diego Israel Coalition, which sprung up in May, fully formed, from the heads of Audrey Jacobs and Michael Lurie, two San Diego Jews who wanted to support Israel in the wake of the Gaza flotilla incident.
Here’s what the Jerusalem Post had to say about them and two similar groups:
Here in San Diego, new coalitions have formed among academics and ordinary folks that are coordinating their messaging, working hard to combat anti-Israel bias, and engaging local media and other luminaries on behalf of Israel.
Jacobs and Lurie put together their first rally 24 hours after the flotilla news broke; more than 100 people showed up to their planning meeting.
“They’re bulky, they don’t move fast,” Jacobs said of the major Jewish organizations. “We can put on an event in 24 hours, and get press coverage.”
On Sept. 7, about 100 supporters showed up at their “shofar for Israel” rally in San Diego (see below, photo by Liat Feco). People in the crowd were invited to blow shofars in support of the peace talks in DC, and in memory of four Israelis murdered by Hamas activists last week on the West Bank. The event was covered by three TV stations, PBS radio and three local newspapers.
Jacobs says she and Lurie have been fielding calls from San Francisco to Brighton, England, from pro-Israel activists looking to create their own grassroots, all-volunteer campaigns.