FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2018
New Israeli-American Immigrant Advocacy Initiative Launches Platform for Israel Engagement
Unprecedented Strategy to Fight Anti-Semitism, Defeat BDS, and Build New Bipartisan Alliances Among Progressives and Conservatives
LOS ANGELES, CA – Israeli-American grassroots leaders from Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Seattle announce the official launch of the Israeli-American Civic Education Institute (IsraelUSA.org) as the first phase of a new initiative to ensure first-generation immigrants from Israel and their families are civically educated, engaged, and empowered to advocate on behalf of their communities across the United States.
“Fighting anti-Israel boycotts, or BDS, is our battle for civil rights and equality in America,” said Sigal Chattah, national board member from Las Vegas. “The boycott movement seeks to dehumanize Israel and vilify our culture, we cannot freely celebrate our heritage without experiencing bias and outright discrimination, that’s not acceptable for Israeli-American immigrants or any other immigrant community in this country.”
The term “BDS” is an acronym for boycotts, divestments, and sanctions against a nation and promotes collective punishment targeting the entire population, including those who have emigrated to permanently reside in other countries.
The adoption of an unprecedented strategy that highlights the immigrant experience of first-generation Israeli-Americans, while engaging a broad issue profile that includes both domestic and foreign policy issues, has generated greater bipartisan interest among elected leaders at every level of government.
“America is home, Israel is our heritage, by broadening the conversation beyond the usual pro-Israel talking points to include issues that matter in our neighborhoods, across our state, or across the country, we have created new ways to connect with elected leaders encompassing the entire political spectrum,” said Tal Journo, national board member from Seattle. “Whether it’s sustainability or education, civil rights or foreign policy, Democrats and Republicans have begun to recognize Israeli-Americans as an emerging constituency and are listening to our voice on a range of issues,” added Nimrod Vered, also representing Seattle on the national board.
Through a family of three organizations, each designed from inception to be exclusively advocacy-oriented and specializing in distinct activities as required under U.S. tax code, these include: civic education, issue advocacy, and increased electoral participation, respectively:
The Israeli-American Civic Education Institute (“ICEI”) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which educates Israeli-Americans about civic engagement and advocacy through specialized programming and grants.
The Israeli-American Civic Action Network (“ICAN”) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit advocacy organization which advocates on behalf of Israeli-Americans to impact key issues.
The Israeli-American Civic Action PAC (“ICAP”) is a bipartisan political action committee which will advocate in favor of candidates that support priority issues within the Israeli-American community.
“The Israeli-American voice matters,” said Dillon Hosier, Chief Advocacy Officer. “When an Israeli-American meets a legislator and shares their immigrant experience in America, especially in the context of the unique discrimination they face at the hands of a well organized systematic effort to boycott Israel, there is an authenticity and personal narrative that resonates powerfully among both progressives and conservatives.”
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About the Israeli-American Civic Education Institute: The Israeli-American Civic Education Institute (“ICEI”) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to empowering Israeli-Americans through civic engagement and advocacy education programs.
Dillon Hosier, Chief Advocacy Officer