Recent Posts

Columbia Spectator: Ask and ye shall not receive

Posted by ericschorr on December 6, 2011 @ 10:05 am

This piece was featured in the Columbia Spectator on Tuesday, December 6, 2011. It was written by the Eric Schorr, 2011-2012 LionPAC President.

Ask and ye shall not receive graphicThis week Columbia students will once again be subjected to the uninvited—yet ever-present and monotonous—propaganda of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This week, the Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine will promote its Right to Education Week, the focus of which will not be education, but the distortion and mischaracterization of Israeli security against terrorism as a system of oppression against Palestinians. Those of you familiar with the back-and-forth swinging of the pendulum between the two sides on campus may be surprised to find that, this time, one of the sides will be taking a different approach to the debate.

The discussion on campus has fundamentally shifted in the last two years—in that it simply no longer exists. The two sides cannot be aptly described as pro-Israel vis-à-vis pro-Palestine. Rather, the dichotomy has become pro-Israel versus anti-Israel. When one side promotes dialogue, conversation, and mutual recognition, and the other side preaches occupation, oppression, and apartheid, there is a clear disparity of issues and a break in the direction of the discussion. The two sides are no longer parallel in path. I could bore you with a lengthy diatribe of facts and figures, but I propose a different way of determining this new dichotomy: Ask members of C-SJP a series of questions.

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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.


Compassion and cooperation

Posted by jonathanhuberman on September 27, 2011 @ 11:17 am

This piece was featured in the Columbia Spectator on Tuesday, September 27, 2011.  It was written by Jonathan Huberman, LionPAC Director of Public Relations.

Despite the seeming intransigence of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, two ingredients, compassion and cooperation, have the potential to bring peace. At the United Nations this past week though, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas showed little interest in compassion or cooperation. In the Middle East and here at Columbia, these two values have been greatly lacking.

Peace requires compassion for your counterpart and a willingness to cooperate. In this regard, Palestinians and Israelis need to recognize the legitimacy of each other’s national narratives. After accepting that each group deserves its own country, Palestinians and Israelis need to work together to create a framework for the two societies to live together side by side.

Abbas’s gambit at the U.N. has delayed the prospects of peace by sidestepping this necessary cooperation, adding an unsurprising yet disappointing chapter to his history of circumventing negotiations. In 2010, Israel halted all construction in the West Bank for 10 months, yet still Abbas refused to come to the table. Since 2000, two Israeli prime ministers have offered to relinquish over 90 percent of the West Bank in exchange for peace. These actions show Israel’s enthusiasm for coexistence, and it is time for Palestinian leaders to show a similar eagerness. Instead of making excuses and demanding preconditions for negotiations, Abbas should show the perseverance and persistence that are necessary for talks to succeed.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Executive Board – Fall 2011

Posted by Shapiro Ron on April 17, 2011 @ 11:54 pm

Congratulations to the new LionPAC Executive Board!!  Here’s the list:

President – Eric Schorr
Vice President – Rachael Schulder
Secretary/Treasurer – Ilana Yablonovich
Hillel Liason – Cory Doliner
Research & Response – Ron Shapiro
Public Relations – Jonathan Huberman
Campus Affairs – Seffi Kogen
Academic Affairs – Ari Brickman
Political Affairs - Seren Gedallovich
Cultural Affairs – Jill Meltzer
Marketing – Tamara Roth
Past President – Michael Shapiro

Deputy Director of Research & Response – Hanna Flesh
Deputy Director of Academic Affairs - Nikki Press
Deputy Director of Political Affairs – Yael Wilner
Deputy Director of Cultural Affairs – Zach Javitt

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