CIJA spokesman Steve McDonald gives effective tips how to advocate for Israel

Rather candid and open advice, and more nuanced than one would judge from public statements:

McDonald proceeded to offer a series of useful and concise tips to anyone who is interested in advocating on behalf of Israel:

• “Don’t feed into the complexity of the situation”; that would only make it more difficult for the average Canadian to understand.

• We need to take the other side’s arguments off the table.” Agree that Palestinians deserve a “democracy”. “What they don’t deserve is Hamas.”

• Acknowledge the legitimacy of some Palestinian grievances.

• Say that it’s “not about taking sides”. “Also, the argument that the other side shot first doesn’t work.”

• “If our first response to Palestinian suffering isn’t empathy, we lose.”

• Point out that Israel did withdraw from Gaza and has always accepted ceasefires.

• Finally, “when you’re having a conversation with someone about Israel, have a real conversation. Never defend the indefensible, i.e. settlements.”

CIJA spokesman Steve McDonald gives effective tips how to advocate for Israel.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

One Response to CIJA spokesman Steve McDonald gives effective tips how to advocate for Israel

  1. ryanmbellerose says:

    I think that Mr. Macdonald should probably not be teaching tips for effective advocacy for Cija, those may actually be the worst tips I have ever seen.

    1- you do not need to feed “the complexity” but you need to couch the discussion in understandable terms while making sure people understand its complex.

    2- actually what you need to do is reframe the other sides arguments and use examples that are understandable to the audience, not give in to the other sides argument by changing the subject. Stand with us has an effective tool for this.

    3-we do not need to acknowledge the legitimacy of their grievances, we should however be willing to discuss them in their entirety, the issue is when people who are not educated on this conflict “acknowledge legitimacy of some of their arguments” they make it sound like the palestinians position is legitimate. It is not. in fact the worst thing you can do if you are not educated in this is admit the palestinians claims have legitimacy. very dangerous.

    4- no you actually do make it about taking sides, you are either someone who believes in human rights and follow that logic to its conclusion or you are not, you either support rule of law or you support terrorism. again, you use real world examples that people will understand. You do not allow them to set the clock at 1947. again make sure you know what you are talking about.

    5-The only thing correct in this entire piece, we have to maintain the moral high ground, its integral. This is why we need to know the legal aspects of this stuff including the fact that the settlements are on jewish ancestral lands and are in fact not illegal.

    6-this is not worth mentioning unless you use the proper phrasing and terms, its about the ineffectiveness of “land for peace” and in fact Israel has done it several times and only once with Egypt was it even marginally effective. only bring up the breaking of ceasefires if they do first, because that takes you down the rathole of responding to attacks.

    7- this last one, just shows that Steve shouldn’t be teaching advocacy to anyone let alone jews defending Israel. in fact im pretty disgusted this was even posted.

    Let me make this simple, Israel is the ancestral homeland of the jewish people, the jewish people are an indigenous people who were forcibly displaced but who regained control of the majority of their ancestral lands. The “settlements” are in fact legal according to international law, its actually false to claim they are illegal or immoral, in point of fact if one follows the logic to its inevitable conclusion, one would say that if the settlements are illegal, then all of Israel is in fact Illegal. I suggest that Mr. Macdonald go and do some serious studying before presuming to teach EFFECTIVE advocacy.

    If you like I can give him some more tips on EFFECTIVE advocacy, its clear Cija needs to get with the times on this

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