StandWithUs is a pro-Israel advocacy organisation.
The StandWithUs website describes its role as follows:
- StandWithUs is an international education organization that ensures that Israel's side of the story is told in communities, campuses, libraries, the media and churches through brochures, speakers, conferences, missions to Israel, and thousands of pages of Internet resources.
The Middle East Times claimed in March 2009 that StandWithUs had been established by the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Social Media Ambassadors
In January 2015, Israeli media website The Seventh Eye reported that the Israeli Prime Minister's Office (PMO) is to pay StandWithUs (SWU) $254,000 in matching funds 'for a year-long program to disseminate hasbara, or official Israeli spin, in times of routine as well as crisis'. During Israel's recent attacks on Gaza, the PMO's National Information Directorate (NID) paid students to promote Israeli talking points online, with '"war rooms" set up on Israeli campuses'. SWU's 'Social Media Ambassadors' program is 'an expansion' of this, and will see SWU and the NID 'train Israeli, American and British students to carry out this task'.
Yarden Vatikay, NID director, said,
We saw during Operation Protective Edge the energy and dedication of young people who took to social media to share their experiences of living under Hamas rocket fire. This program aims to empower people with skills so they can convey their first-hand experiences about Israel to a wide audience on social media.
SWU head Michael Dickson said,
This is an exciting opportunity for young people to volunteer and learn for themselves about the best way to communicate Israel's message. Too often, those who know the truth about Israel's actions, especially in times of conflict, are drowned out by voices spreading misinformation on the Internet. This program could remedy that.
Creative Community for Peace
StandWithUs is behind the group Creative Community for Peace (CCFP) which works to counter the cultural boycott of Israel in Hollywood and beyond. SWU has channeled donations to CCFP, shares an office with it, registered its name (along with 'Israel Emergency Network' or 'Israel Emergency Alliance') and website and has a closely overlapping board. While SWU is outspokenly pro-Israel, CCFP claims it is non-political and seeking only to stop restrictions on the exchange of music and the arts.
After a number of high profile celebrities expressed public criticism of Israel and/or sympathy for Gaza during 'Operation Protective Edge' (Jul-Aug 2014), Creative Community for Peace published a statement signed by nearly 200 entertainment industry workers condemning Hamas for its '[ideology] of hatred and genocide, its rocket attacks on Israel and for holding Gazans 'hostage':
Hospitals are for healing, not for hiding weapons. Schools are for learning, not for launching missiles. Children are our hope, not our human shields.
Signatories included Kelsey Grammer, Haim Saban, Ziggy Marley, Seth Rogen, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
On 13 September 2014 CCFP published the statement, along with a list of signatories, as a full page ad on p. A7 of the New York Times. The statement was also reportedly published in Billboard, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline Hollywood.
CCFP's website at this time included a special thank you message to the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles for a 'Cutting Edge' grant 'that is allowing us to expand our work'.
- International Advisory Board for Academic Freedom
- StandWithUs International
- Creative Community for Peace
- Eli Clifton, StandWithUs money trail reveals neocon funders, Electronic Intifada, 22 October 2009.
- Nathan Guttman, Hollywood Insiders Form Group To Counter Celebrity BDS Campaigns, published 22 October 2013, issue of 25 October 2013.
- Did LA pro-Israel group conceal right-wing identity from Hollywood celebs and media?, Adalah-NY, 2 September 2014.
- Phan Nguyen, '"Apolitical" arts organization combatting BDS is front for pro-settler group tied to Israeli foreign ministry', Mondoweiss, 24 October 2013.
- ↑ UNICEF News note, 'Situation of children in Gaza remains precarious 100 days after end of conflict', 28 April 2009
- ↑ Michael C. Duke, Nine years and growing: StandWithUs building network to stand up for Israel and democracy, Jewish Herald-Voice, 27 May 2010.
- ↑ About, standwithus.com, accessed 18 June 2009.
- ↑ Mel Frykberg, Israel Launches New 'Soft War', Middle East Times, 11 March 2009.
- ↑ Help Us Win, accessed 18 June 2009.
- ↑ Jessica Freiman, IDC students work to win media war, Jerusalem Post, 4 January 2009.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 'Prime Minister's Office hires rightist Israel advocacy group for 1 million shekels', Ha'aretz (13 January, 2015).
- ↑ Phan Nguyen, '"Apolitical" arts organization combatting BDS is front for pro-settler group tied to Israeli foreign ministry', Mondoweiss, 24 October 2013, accessed 9 September 2014
- ↑ 'Support Us', CreativeCommunityforPeace.com (accessed 14 September, 2014)
- ↑ 'Statement from Creative Community for Peace and Friends', Creative Community for Peace; links in original. Cf. 'Nearly 200 Hollywood stars sign petition supporting Israel', The Tower (25 August, 2014).
- ↑ Zach Noble, 'Think Hollywood Is Anti-Israel? Page A7 of Saturday’s New York Times Might Make You Reconsider', The Blaze (13 September, 2014),
- ↑ 'Pro-Israel Ad Signed by 300 Hollywood Professionals and Celebrities Appears in The New York Times', The Tower (14 September, 2014).