“Hurt me with the truth, but never confront me with a lie,” read a poster held by a 20-something-year-old college student. The March for Truth on Sunday, Nov. 15 began at Harvard Science Commons and dropped a mass of passionate ralliers at the British Consulate in Cambridge. Students from Brandeis University, Clark University, Boston University, Northeastern University, Suffolk University, Harvard University, Boston College and Wellesley College came together to take a stand against the ever-present bias in reporting on Israel’s politics.
The students came together and supported each other as these difficult topics were discussed. Misha Vilenchuk, a Brandeis student, stood with an American flag tied to his back and an Israeli flag in his hand as he spoke about the slanted coverage coming from the BBC and the inexcusable slander that perpetuates their reporting.
“We have watched all too many times as articles slander our homeland,” he said.
As he led the marchers on the path to the consulate, he chanted proudly, “Israel, we stand with you.”
Third-year Northeastern student and Huskies for Israel board member Allie Glushanok spoke about her experiences with anti-Israel reporting and her disappointment with the bias not only in the media but also on college campuses.
As students marched for two miles to the British Consulate, cheers of “Am Yisrael Chai (the people of Israel live),” “open your eyes, stop the lies” and “end the double standard” echoed from the masses.
The passion was palpable – at times, cars were cheering the marchers on with honks and waves. As the march passed storefronts, people handed out fliers about the cause. Activists from the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, Stand With Us, Hasbara and many other organizations were in attendance, showing their solidarity.
Northeastern has a community full of passionate students who can learn from the leaders who so successfully organized this event, working with numerous organizations and schools to create a unified front. We have the capacity to become a unified school by creating partnerships and coalitions with different student groups. Exclusivity and close-mindedness are not how we can make a difference on our campus. Instead, we can move forward by engaging in positive discussion with those whom we may not always agree with.
I am passionate about Israel and the media’s portrayal of her, not only because I am Jewish but because I believe in what the state stands for. As an advocate, I recognize the importance of speaking out. Every day, we are inundated with large amounts of information and we must take a stand against biased reporters who deliberately mislead us. We are the next generation of journalists, newscasters and talk-show hosts. We have the capacity to make a difference and to ensure we spread accurate and clear information.
For information on bias in reporting in the Middle East, visit camera.org.
-Kaila Fleisig is a sophomore business administration student, a member of Huskies for Israel and a CAMERA Fellow.
Photo courtesy RonAlmog, Creative Commons