I have a good friend, a professional in the financial world and a mensch: soft spoken, kind and a scholar. Beyond being a true expert in his field, he has a passion for world affairs in general and the State of Israel in particular. Therefore, he spends a lot of his free time studying the nuances and complexities of the region (yes, it's not all black and white, despite what you may have heard) and enjoys sharing his views with peers, community members and even government officials at times.
Itamar Marcus is director of Palestinian Media Watch, a nonprofit that examines Palestinian ideology and policy. He founded it in 1996, and three years later the Israeli government appointed him its representative in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority on incitement. Born in New York and now a resident of Efrat on the West Bank, he was interviewed here while on a speaking tour for the pro-Israel group StandWithUs. This is an edited transcript.
The Toronto Transit System on Monday rejected four advertisements, sponsored by the Montreal-based Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East and depicting Palestinians’ “loss of land” at the hands of Israel, as “inaccurate and misleading,” according to JTA.
SodaStream, an Israeli maker of devices that carbonate beverages with a manufacturing plant in the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim, plans to run a TV commercial during Sunday’s Super Bowl, prompting calls for a boycott of the product by the Interfaith Boycott Coalition.
In response to a changing attitude toward Israel on college campuses, the Israel advocacy group StandWithUs lauched in 2001. Its goal was to serve as an informational guerrilla unit of sorts and work with established campus organizations like Hillel to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Israel propaganda. With calls for universities to divest from Israeli companies still occurring on campuses across North America, StandWithUs has found itself growing in recent years and working harder to reach more college students.