What's the campaign?
The Bridges Not Boycotts campaign is the current manifestation of many decades of UJS work championing the Jewish people’s right to national self-determination. With UJS being one of the first diaspora Jewish organisations to support mutual recognition between Israelis and Palestinians, this project furthers Jewish students long held and annually agreed policy to combat attempts to demonise and delegitimise Israel, whilst engaging in education underpinned by a desire to realise Two States for Two Peoples.
All too often, conversations on campus are divisive and unconstructive, where those on different sides of the conflict rarely come together. We recognise the complexities and nuance in the conflict and we seek to export dialogue rather than import division when it comes to how campuses respond to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Through this campaign, UJS is fostering a space for informed debate and responsible dialogue, promoting community cohesion on campus.
#BRIDGESNOTBOYCOTTS was a brand new campaign for 2017. Jewish students continue to promote dialogue and coexistence, supported by the Union of Jewish Students together with We Believe in Israel and the Board of Deputies.
Launching the campaign: Bridges Not Boycotts Week
The campaign launched with #BRIDGESNOTBOYCOTTS week, which took place from 20th February - 3rd March 2017 and focused on two key areas: 2017 as a year of anniversaries and Pathways to Peace. Read more about both of these in Liron's blog here.
The postcards below were distributed to campuses across the UK and were used to start or shape discussions at #BRIDGESNOTBOYCOTTS stalls, lunch and learns and other sessions. One focuses on 2017 as a year of anniversaries and the other looks at various Pathways to Peace. They are still available for download here, so feel free to take a look.
Continuing the campaign: Bridges not Boycotts Conference
#BRIDGESNOTBOYCOTTS week was followed in October by our first ever Bridges Not Boycotts Conference which highlighted grassroots efforts for peace within and between the different communities involved in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Alongside opportunities for discussion, debate and dialogue on the future of the Israel-Palestine conflict, the conference also promoted actions that students can take on campus to promote peace and dialogue. Read about the conference here.
Taking the campaign abroad: Bridges Not Boycotts trips
The #BRIDGESNOTBOYCOTTS campaign also includes specialised, tailor-made trips to Israel and Palestine for students from a broad range of campuses. Our first Bridges Not Boycotts trip was the highly successful Let’s Talk Business, for those interested in startups and social enterprises; read one installment of Jonah’s four-part blog here. Our second Bridges Not Boycotts trip will be a trip for students interested in journalism and the media, taking place in January 2018 - if you're interested in applying, please contact Noah.
If you’re interested in bringing the Bridges Not Boycotts Campaign to your campus, please get in touch with the Campaigns Team.