While it is impossible to go “beyond the conflict” as long as the conflict continues, the themes we have chosen deliberately emphasize the history, politics, society and culture of Israel outside the conflict. We want people to see Israel as a normal country, like France, Britain, Russia or Argentina, with great music, art and literature, a rich history, beautiful sites and interesting people.
Programs related to current Middle East events will and should continue. We do not expect everyone to shy away from tackling political issues; however, the aim of the calendar is to give greater attention to the country that most Israelis know, and to the people themselves, who enjoy rich lives that are neither immune to nor controlled by the conflict.
Each month's theme is rooted in a positive aspect of Israeli life. Themes are often tied to events on the regular calendar (e.g., Israel Freedom and Democracy Month is timed to Israel Independence Day). We do not expect all programming on campuses or in communities to be about the monthly theme, but we hope that the calendar serves as a guide for planning yearly activities.
The themes are broad and have been purposely chosen to showcase a range of aspects of Israeli society that highlight Israel’s multifaceted character and its unique status as the only Jewish state and homeland of the Jewish people. The aim is also to correct misperceptions about Israel, educate Americans who may not be as knowledgeable about Israel as they believe themselves to be, and counter the tendency to see Israel solely through the prism of conflict.
We welcome ideas and suggestions for improving on the calendar. We are especially interested in programming ideas and creative ways to tie Jewish holidays, secular events and popular culture to Israel-related themes.
This site is Zionist-inspired, meaning that it starts with the premise that the Jewish people are a nation entitled to self-determination in their homeland, which is Israel. It has no partisan political view, but is designed to promote a positive image of Israel. This does not mean that programming must be completely uncritical, but the moderator will only include events in the calendar that relate to the month’s theme in a positive way. Organizations, events or speakers who question Israel’s right to exist or engage in other forms of delegitimization will not be included.
After an event, we hope sponsors will file a follow-up report describing what took place, attendance and feedback. You may also want to send along photos. If the event was successful, we may want to add it to the list of programming ideas for others to use in the future.
To help AICE continue to maintain and expand The Israel Calendar, please consider a tax-deductible contribution to:
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