Posts by Shapiro Ron

Intra-Hillel Israel Debate!

Posted by Shapiro Ron on December 1, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

Hey everyone!

Just a friendly reminder that LionPAC, along with the other Israel groups at Hillel, is putting together the first ever Intra-Hillel Israel Debate! There will be five panelists spanning the political spectrum speaking about their views on Israel. Given that there are so many different opinions surrounding many topics related to Israel, we want to present a wide-ranging panel so that you can find others to engage in conversations about Israel afterwards, with the goal that the volume of discourse about Israel on campus rises! It’s a wonderful opportunity for our community to come together to discuss issues dear to our heart, so we hope you all come!

The event will be taking place tomorrow at 7:45pm in Rennert Hall (the basement of Hillel) – here’s the Facebook event. We hope to see you there!


President Eric Schorr Wins Campus Advocate Award

Posted by Shapiro Ron on March 4, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

Eric Schorr - AIPAC Campus Advocate of the YearCongratulations to Eric Schorr, 2011-2012 LionPAC President, for winning AIPAC’s Campus Advocate of the Year Award at Policy Conference 2012!  Eric has been an integral piece of the LionPAC board for many years, serving as Director of Public Relations, Director of Political Affairs, Vice President, and now President. We thank him for his hard work during his four years at Columbia in both advocating for Israel and fostering new leaders within LionPAC.

Sincerely,

The LionPAC Board


Conversation, Not Confrontation: Moving Forward Together

Posted by Shapiro Ron on February 27, 2012 @ 1:59 am

In preparation for Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine’s ‘Israeli Apartheid Week,’ below is the text for the Columbia/Barnard Hillel Israel Va’ad fact sheet. Click here for the flyer image file.

Sustained Security

  • Since construction of the security barrier began in 2003, the number of terrorist attacks in Israel has declined by 97%.
  • The purpose of the barrier is to establish security, not to create a social divide. It is not the permanent solution.

Economic Progress

  • The Palestine Investment Conference is actively working on new and innovative ideas to advance the Palestinian economy. One project is the planned city of Rawabi, which is in its early stages, and once it is fully built, it will be the first planned Palestinian city.1
  • Ramallah, the largest city in the West Bank, has been undergoing a construction boom, and the large increases in property development are indicators of strong economic growth.2
  • There have also been positive joint economic ventures, such as the burgeoning relationship between the Palestinian city of Jenin and the Israeli area of Gilboa. The two cities have worked to create joint business enterprises and are planning an industrial zone to connect the two cities.3

Working Towards Democracy

  • Since the Oslo Peace Accords, 96% of Palestinians live under full Palestinian civil administration, of which 55% live under Palestinian security control as well.
  • The Palestinian Authority has instituted its own criminal justice system and court structure to try Palestinian people according to their own legal system.
  • The prospect of a viable Palestinian state is moving towards becoming a reality. This state will govern its own people by passing and enforcing its own laws. Israel, judged by its repeated offers to the Palestinians to create a Palestinian state, wants such a state to be created; Israel does not want Palestinians to continue to live under its authority.

Civil Equality

  • All Israelis, including Arabs, have equal rights.
  • Arabs have been elected to every Knesset (Israeli Parliament) since Israel’s founding. At present Arabs hold 14 of 120 seats.
  • Palestinians living in the West Bank can bring cases to the Israeli Supreme Court if they feel that the security barrier causes them excessive harm. In the past, the Court has ruled in favor of Palestinians and ordered the route of the barrier to be moved.4

1http://huff.to/89gSkd

2http://reut.rs/g1j213

3http://www.jpost.com/LocalIsrael/Article.aspx?id=157631

4http://www.jpost.com/topic/Alfei_Menashe


LionPAC Shabbat with Dr. Daniel Gordis

Posted by Shapiro Ron on November 4, 2011 @ 11:50 am

Next Friday night, we are honored to have Dr. Daniel Gordis return to his alma mater once again and spend Shabbat with the Hillel community. Please join us at dinner Friday night (catered by Carlos and Gabby’s!), followed by a keynote address delivered by Dr. Gordis. Saturday afternoon Dr. Gordis will be leading a shiur (study session) before afternoon services at Hillel.

To sign up for dinner on Friday night, find any LionPAC board member or pay on PayPal. The $5 is definitely worth it for this amazing dinner!

If you have any questions about the weekend, please email lionpac@hillel.columbia.edu


Israel and the Media

Posted by Shapiro Ron on October 19, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

Israel in the Media FlyerThe Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the most controversial topics in the media today. How do journalists balance this contentious issue to produce an even-handed portrayal of the conflict? This event will feature three distinguished panelists with extensive experience in journalism and reporting on Israel. Ethan Bronner is the Jerusalem bureau chief for the New York Times and Yaakov Katz is the military correspondent and defense analyst for The Jerusalem Post. Ari Goldman is a professor at the Columbia Journalism School who worked for many years at the New York Times. Their combined insight will help illuminate the media’s treatment of Israel and will present a method for understanding Israel independent of how the media portrays the country.

For more information, check our Facebook event.


America, Israel, and the Palestinians: In Pursuit of Peace

Posted by Shapiro Ron on October 6, 2011 @ 1:25 am

Alan Dershowitz is a renowned American lawyer, jurist, and political commentator. He is known as “Israel’s single most visible defender – the Jewish state’s lead attorney in the court of public opinion.” He has authored numerous books about politics and law, including The Case for Israel, The Case for Peace, and most recently, The Trials of Zion.

He will be speaking on the topic of “America, Israel, and the Palestinians: In Pursuit of Peace” on Sunday, October 16th. For more information, please view the event page.


Reconsider, S'il Vous Plaît

Posted by Shapiro Ron on September 20, 2011 @ 12:06 am

This piece was featured in the Columbia Spectator on Tuesday, September 20, 2011.  It was written by the Columbia Spectator Editorial Board (Samuel E. Roth recused himself from the writing of this editorial because he previously served on CIRCA’s executive board).  It was not written by a LionPAC member.

Columbia International Relations Council and Association’s plan to dine with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this Wednesday has raised a few eyebrows on campus and in national and international media. Given the implications of dining with a man accused of gross human rights violations, political repression, and hostility toward the United States, we urge CIRCA to reconsider its decision to participate.

Numerous media outlets­—American and Iranian alike—have inaccurately equated CIRCA’s acceptance of the invitation as from the University as a whole. National news outlets have demonstrated no more commitment to honest reporting than Iran’s, and we hope that the international community understands that CIRCA’s actions do not represent the University’s views as a whole. Fox News inaccurately claimed that President Bollinger was attending the dinner, a statement it later corrected.

While we uphold Columbia’s commitment to free speech, open dialogue, and freedom of association, CIRCA’s attendance at the dinner surpasses the bounds of responsible group behavior. We don’t doubt that the students involved in the dinner identify an opportunity to engage a world leader in a sincere gesture of diplomacy, but to do so with a leader like Ahmadinejad is not constructive.

Continue reading…


UANI Calls On Columbia University President to Cancel Ahmadinejad Dinner

Posted by Shapiro Ron on September 13, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

UANI logoNew York, NY - On Tuesday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) President, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, issued the following statement following reports that Columbia University President Lee Bollinger has arranged to attend a private dinner for Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with Columbia students.

UANI calls on Columbia University’s President Lee Bollinger to cancel this “dinner with Ahmadinejad” immediately. It is highly inappropriate for the leader of a prestigious U.S. University to meet with the head of a regime that is defying the international community by pursuing nuclear weapons, ruthlessly violating the human rights of its people, and sponsoring al-Qaeda and other terrorists. Would Mr. Bollinger attend an event with the leaders of al-Qaeda?

Four years ago, Bollinger hosted Ahmadinejad under the guise of “dialogue,” and Columbia was widely criticized for that irresponsible decision, particularly given the offensive theories and remarks Ahmadinejad stated that day. To repeat the same mistake this year would be a serious affront to New York City and America.

This is not a matter of dialogue or free speech, but of judgment. Providing Ahmadinejad with a forum to spread his vile and conspiratorial views regarding 9/11 and the Holocaust, among others matters, gives him the very platform and legitimacy he seeks, and will once again significantly harm Columbia University’s reputation.

Continue reading…


African Americans and Jewish Americans Joining Together for Israel

Posted by Shapiro Ron on April 28, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

This piece was featured on Israel Campus Beat on Thursday, April 28, 2011.  It was written by Elianna Mintz.

A letter that the Vanguard Leadership Group published in many campus newspapers across the country.

Courtesy: Israel Campus Beat

When members of Columbia University’s pro-Israel and African American student groups accepted an invitation to hear two leaders of the Vanguard Leadership Group (VLG) speak on campus recently, they assumed it would be an interesting program, but they had no idea they would be a part of a groundbreaking event.

As they RSVP’d for the program, they could not have known that the event would herald significant change at Columbia. Once they arrived, however, they realized just how potent the unification of the campus’ African American and Jewish American students could be.

Most were unfamiliar with VLG, an Atlanta-based honor society for high-achieving African American students at the nation’s historically black colleges and universities. Established in 2003, VLG is committed to instilling a global mindset within their students and as such has had been engaging the pro-Israel community since 2007.

VLG founder and executive director Jarrod Jordan traced the history of the group’s strong embrace of Israel to the 2008 AIPAC Policy Conference, where members were in the audience when then-presidential candidate Barack Obama stressed the importance of the historic relationship between African Americans and Jewish Americans.

“Obama explained that together African Americans and Jewish Americans are pushing America forward,” Jarrod recalled. “He expressed gratitude to AIPAC for their continuance of that relationship, which inspired us to pursue that relationship as well.

Continue reading…


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