The Israel Action Network (IAN) is the “go-to” resource for communities seeking the latest information, strategies and best practices to counter the assault on Israel’s legitimacy. IAN is building a network fighting a network to positively change the conversation about the democratic Jewish state of Israel.
Since its creation in 2010, IAN has organized a network of communities across North America on many milestone efforts:
- Gathered and presented a petition with over 107,000 signatures to the UN opposing a unilateral Palestinian bid for statehood (UDI) in September 2011.
- Helped mobilize the Jewish community response to anti-Israel efforts at the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2012.
- Together with the JCPA, IAN helped coordinate a “Letter in Hope” that was sent to PCUSA and UMC delegates, signed by 1,500 American rabbis from all four movements and all 50 states. The letter was also supported by an additional 22,000 individuals reaching out their hands as partners for peace and two states – and urging rejection of anti-Israel divestment. Divestment resolutions were defeated in both churches.
- Trained and Mobilized over 50 communities from coast to coast to successfully counter assaults on Israel’s legitimacy as part of a “Year of Community Mobilizations.”
IAN built its success on a strategic core of tactics proven to defeat delegitimization:
- Rapid response for communities facing assaults ranging from anti-Israel speakers, cultural events, conferences, editorials, billboards and bus ads to boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) proposals.
- Micro-grant funding to seed innovation and replicable projects.
- Modules on messaging, strategic planning and advocacy tailored to community needs.
- Education, training and speakers for major Jewish and non-Jewish conferences as well as programming for JFNA GA, JFNA Tribefest, JCPA Plenum and other leadership meetings.
- Communication vehicles including original publications, newsletters, memos, fact sheets and talking points, in addition to daily social media updates.
- Trips and education efforts for non-Jewish leaders of groups vulnerable to delegitimization efforts including interfaith, youth, women, minorities, and journalists, both new and traditional.
IAN developed successful campaigns that provide models for countering anti-Israel activity:
- Defeated Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) at Food Coop in Park Slope, Brooklyn. In March 2012, IAN provided strategic advice and support to the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York to defeat a proposed resolution by the BDS movement to remove Israeli products from the Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn, which was overturned by an overwhelming majority.
- Neutralized UPenn BDS Conference; Counter-Program Drew Great Crowds. In February 2012, IAN together with the Philadelphia Federation and area Hillel and partner organizations, countered a planned BDS conference at the University of Pennsylvania. The conference was used as a launch pad for new, positive programming that deepened ties between Jewish and non-Jewish students while encouraging free speech. As a result, the BDS event held minimal negative impact for Jewish students.
- 107,000 Petition Signatures in Opposition to the Unilateral Declaration of Independence Delivered to UN Country Leaders. In fall of 2011, IAN coordinated a global education, outreach and action campaign to oppose the Palestinian bid for a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) at the UN which included a petition, YouTube video, as well as two major press events, in tandem with targeted outreach to consulates and UN agencies.
- Divestment in Methodist and Presbyterian churches. IAN helped mobilize the Jewish community response to anti-Israel efforts at the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2012. Divestment resolutions were defeated in both churches. A historic “Letter in Hope” supporting interfaith peace efforts and opposing divestment was signed by 1,300 rabbis representing the full spectrum of American Jewry and signed by an additional 22,000 community members. The letter, coordinated with JCPA, was sent to delegates to the United Methodist Church General Conference and Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly.
IAN has built a robust infrastructure to provide communities with strategic guidance, support and results. In 2012, IAN will add new campaigns and communications vehicles, training, education and access to resources from global to local to best share intelligence, lessons learned, best practices, materials and action plans. This strategy will create a true network of concerted action so that each community – wherever they are located and whatever their size – can more effectively counter the assault on Israel’s legitimacy.