By Karen McDonough/JNS.org
(JNS.org) Republican pollster and political consultant Frank Luntz said there are five things Jewish students can do to more effectively discuss combating anti-Semitism on college campuses.
Luntz, who has worked for years with Israeli leaders – including the late former Israeli President Shimon Peres – has teamed up with the Jewish National Fund (JNF) to take on anti-Semitism across the country.
To better prepare students to engage in conversations about anti-Semitism, and specifically the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, Luntz and JNF have developed a “language library.”
The idea behind it is “to be the most efficient, effective process to provide information, awareness and messaging that will help make the Jewish community stronger, safer and effective in what they do,” Luntz said Wednesday, during a phone call with Jewish media.
“It’s not what you say that matters, it’s what people hear,” he said, adding that his partnership with JNF stemmed from the “need to be more effective in our efforts to connect the youth to Israel.”
Luntz laid out five keys to engaging people in a discussion on combatting anti-Semitism. They are: use the word “imagine,” which, according to Luntz, “changes the entire communications process and brings people to your side,” talk about ending a “culture of hate,” emphasis human rights, social justice and equality when responding to the BDS movement, know that the “Hamas Charter” does not accept Jews’ right to live or Israel’s right to exist, and teach that hate will never lead to peace.
“Teach them [college students] to communicate with confidence and pride to listen, learn and lead fellow students to be supporters of Israel,” Luntz said. He added, “No Jewish student should have to face anti-Semitism on college campuses. We will not allow racism on college campuses… it seems like fighting anti-Semitism isn’t as high a priority [outside of the Jewish community].”
Additionally, Luntz also reflected on his years of working with Peres, who died on Tuesday at age 93. Peres was Israel’s best proponent, Luntz said, adding that nothing mattered more to the senior statesman than “presenting the positive face of Israel across the globe.”
Since 2002, Luntz has assisted Israeli leaders and Jewish organizations in strengthening the relationship between Americans and Israel.