Basics for Defining a “Pro-Israel” Organization

— Lee Bender

To be considered a true “pro-Israel organization” there are indeed simple, basic, clear-cut, line-in-the sand guidelines that must be adhered to:

  1. Believing that Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people who are entitled to self-determination in their homeland;  
  2. respecting the vibrant Israeli democracy and its courts and not elevating one’s judgment for those of Israel’s citizens;
  3. respecting Israeli military judgments and those who are responsible for protecting its citizens, and not being an armchair general;
  4. not joining forces with Israel’s enemies;  
  5. emphasizing the good in Israel while acknowledging the faults;
  6. supporting Israeli government efforts to make peace;
  7. understanding what Israel’s enemies say, advocate and do (i.e. Fatah and Hamas charter to destroy Israel);
  8. being pro-peace, but not to the point that advocating for Israeli concessions damages Israel’s existence.

More after the jump.
Unfortunately, it is clear that too many of our young people on campus are ill-equipped to even enter into an intelligent discussion on the Middle East conflicts to form an opinion, let alone defend Israel from its vast and vociferous critics. And the same goes for too many in our own community who are blinded by doing tikkun olam at all costs, political correctness, self-hating/loathing of their Jewishness, or apathy. Be proud, firm but fair- but be not afraid to defend our people who have survived the most incredible odds in human history, now thrive, and are indeed “a light onto the nations.”



  1. IBarg says

    Lee, please clarify:  Is any person or organization a) who criticized and disrespected the decision of the democratically elected Israeli government to disengage from Gaza and/or b) who criticized and disrespected the Israeli military in its judgment that it could protect the citizens of Israel after disengagement from Gaza — not to be considered pro-Israel by your definition?

    For a variety of reasons, very few pro-Israel advocates I know favored Israel’s unilateral Gaza disengagement policy; some exhibited disrespect in their criticism.

    There are multiple ways to be pro-Israel. I trust that all pro-Israel advocates truly desire and work towards a democratic Jewish State of Israel. — IB

Leave a Reply