Welcome to the official newsletter of Fuel For Truth, ReFuel. In 2016, information flies into our lives from 360 degrees, and too often we find ourselves reading an amalgamation of conflated ideas, forced conclusions, omitted facts and lost truths. Without the right tools, you walk away either confused, misinformed or tragically both.
We, at FFT, want to change that for as many of our contemporaries as we can, especially when it comes to the gross misrepresentation of Israel in today's media and public discourse. Our organization is built on the idea of spreading truth. When you read the news, we want you to have the historical context, the facts, and the community so that you understand the full picture.
Every first Tuesday each month, be sure to check your inbox for the latest.
ReConnect - events and announcements
As 2016 comes to a close, we at Fuel For Truth want to take a moment to say thank you to all of our members for helping us build a thriving community. Because of your support and ongoing commitment to improving Fuel For Truth, we have had a truly incredible year with some impressive achievements, a few of which include:
- Launched in Washington D.C. - We are proud to now have an established presence in the D.C. area. We trained over 50 Bootcampers over 3 sessions. Daniel Flesch and his team have done a phenomenal job of cultivating a D.C. community.
- Thriving in NYC – FFT trained over 80 Bootcampers in New York City over 3 sessions. Under the guidance of Ron Wasserman, Justin Ellis, and Joy Shatz, FFT in NY continues to have a graduation rate of over 90%.
- Redesigned the FFT Website – Under the supervision of Jeremy Meller and Adam Engel, we have successfully launched a completely redesigned website which can be found here.
- Published a Newsletter – Adam Engel spearheaded this effort to create a newsletter designed to keep you up to date on the happenings of the organization throughout the year.
- Continue to Gain Positive National Exposure – Fuel For Truth was asked to join the Center For Jewish Life on their International Ambassadors Forum trip to Israel. The goal of the trip was to have future Jewish leaders briefed by experts in the fields of government, security, and business. Our Chairman, Ron Wasserman, accompanied the group on the trip and FFT received tremendous exposure and praise for our success and mission.
- Hosted 6 events with over 800 attendees - Under the direction of Amanda Paul, we have grown our average attendance and increased our exposure.
As you know, FFT is run entirely by volunteers and I would like to say thank you to each and every one of them for making this a successful and truly impressive year. None of this is possible without all that you do behind the scenes. Fuel For Truth is absolutely a community of members who genuinely care about each other.
President, Fuel For Truth
ReTold - our advocate's stories
It is a topic that triggers an array of emotions from love to exhibiting our most basic defense mechanisms. It can feel overwhelming at times, especially when our newsfeeds are clogged with anti-Israel sentiment, but we still have the opportunity to engage and illuminate this tangled web.
ReView - what you need to know
Below are this edition's need-to-read articles. As important as it is to know history and the facts, it's equally as important to be knowledgeable about current events.
Everybody Loves Israel by Arthur Herman (Mosaic) - November 7, 2016
Far from being the pariah of the Middle East, Israel is fast becoming the region’s golden child, courted and caressed even by some of its most important and once-implacably hostile neighbors. The change has certainly registered in Israel itself, but so far has been largely ignored by Western media.
How Trump Could Surprise the World on Israeli-Palestinian Peace Making by Dennis Ross (Washington Post)- November 30, 2016
Like many of his predecessors, Donald Trump aspires to Middle East peacemaking: “I would love to be able to be the one that made peace with Israel and the Palestinians,” he said recently, adding, “I have reason to believe I can do it.” Bringing peace to the Holy Land has clearly had an allure for American presidents.
ON THE HILL:
Extension of the Iran Sanctions Act Passes Congress by Patricia Zengerle (Reuters) - December 1, 2016
The U.S. Senate passed a 10-year extension of sanctions against Iran on Thursday, sending the measure to the White House for President Barack Obama to sign into law and delaying any potentially tougher actions until next year.
Kerry Knocks Israel on Settlements by Felicia Schwartz (Wall Street Journal) - December 4, 2016
Secretary of State John Kerry sharply criticized Israel’s continued construction on contested Palestinian territory and didn’t rule out administration support for action at the United Nations on the Arab-Israeli conflict before President-elect Donald Trump takes power.
Netanyahu: Notwithstanding Obama or Trump, Israel does ‘what it wants’ on settlements by Eric Cortellessa and Tamar Pileggi (Times of Israel) - December 4, 2016
Israel’s settlement policy is not governed by the United States and the incoming Trump administration will not change that, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the annual Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum for Middle East Policy on Sunday.
Are Jews White? by Emma Green (The Atlantic) - December 5, 2016
As pro- and anti-Trump movements jockey to realize their agendas, the question of Jews and whiteness illustrates the high stakes—and dangers—of racialized politics. Jews, who do not fit neatly into American racial categories, challenge both sides’ visions for the country. Over time, Jews have become more integrated into American society—a process scholars sometimes refer to as “becoming white.”
ReLearn - advocacy tips and resourcesEven if you're a bootcamp graduate, it always helps to review some of what you learned on those late Tuesdays nights so many months or years ago. For this edition, we wanted to include some words that work and that appeal to common sense.
If West Bank settlements were the real obstacle to peace we would have had peace long ago.
The real obstacle is Palestinian refusal to accept a Jewish state within any borders, as reflected in Palestinian leaders' statements and in Palestinian media.
The controversy about settlements is a symptom, not a cause, of the conflict, which is rooted in Palestinian rejectionism.
Special thanks to:
Jon Loew- Fuel For Truth's co-founder
Ron Wasserman - Fuel For Truth's CEO and Chairman
Alex Kantor - Fuel For Truth's President
Jeremy Meller - Fuel For Truth's COO
The Newsletter Team - Adam Engel, Tali Schwartz, Ariel Kreisler, Erica Sperber, Chriss Williams, Geoff Hecht
Mosaic Strategies Group - NationBuilder consultants and website architects