Clearing up the myths surrounding Israel

January 20, 2013  

FAIRFIELD — Come learn about Israel’s past, present and its future in a unique lecture series spearheaded by local Rabbi Chaim Zaklos.

The Chabad of Solano County, in conjunction with the nonprofit Israel advocacy group, StandWithUs, will offer the series designed to enlighten the public about the United States’ ally in the Middle East. Beginning Jan. 29, the series is titled, “Israel – Separating Fact from Fiction,” which organizers describe as five lectures in five weeks on the only true democracy in the Middle East.

In the midst of negative publicity and “misinformation,” Zaklos said he set up the series to “sift through the truths and facts.”

“We need to get together and talk about it,” he said. “I found going across all types of people, regardless if (they’re) from a Jewish community or not, I find they’re misinformed about the situation (with Israel’s neighbors in the Middle East).”

The lecture series does not stem from the recent issues between the Palestinians and the state of Israel, Zaklos said.

Rather, as a whole, the series is designed to combat the “lack of knowledge about the history, about the culture (of Israel),” said Gail Rubin, the Sacramento/Davis coordinator of StandWithUs.

“An educational series like this is immensely important because there is a disinformation campaign in the mainstream media about Israel from all regards . . . What is Israel? What does it represent,” she said.

The lecture line up:

  • Jan. 29: “Israel 101: The Top 10 Myths about Israel and Zionism.” Speaker is Nico Black, a web marketing manager from Jerusalem and a StandWithUs volunteer.
  • Feb. 5: “Advocacy Training” will teach attendees how to advocate for Israel. Leading the lecture will be Matthew White, the Pacific Northwest and Northern California campus coordinator for StandWithUs and Mike Harris, one of the founders of San Francisco Voice for Israel, a branch of StandWithUs.
  • Feb. 12: Will focus on “Israel’s Contributions to Humanity” with speaker Gideon Lustig. Lustig is the deputy consul general for the Consulate General of Israel for the Pacific Northwest.
  • Feb. 19: “Anti-Israel Activism and Anti-Semitism on California Campuses:” Roberta Seid, Ph.D., the speaker, is the director of research-education for StandWithUs.
  • Feb. 26: “Bias Against Israel in the Media” will be taught by Gary Kenzer of Honest Reporting. Honest Reporting is a website that advertises itself as “Defending Israel from Media Bias.”

Each lecture will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on consecutive Tuesdays at the Missouri Street Theatre, 1125 Missouri St., in Fairfield.

For cost and further information, contact the theatre at 422-1598 or go to http://missouristreettheatre.com. Also, the Chabad of Solano County can be reached at 592-5300 or go to www.jewishsolano.com/israelcourse.

Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or