VICTORY PLAN FOR ISRAEL Notes and Bio From A Frustrated Jewish, Zionist,
Israeli and Texas American
by Bernard J. Shapiro
Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
May 20, 2008
PART ONE: EARLY BIO
I was always a Jew, but something happened to me in 1959 that turned me into a Zionist. Donít laugh, but I took a course in modern Jewish history and two of the reading assignments were: EXODUS by Leon Uris and THE COURSE OF MODERN JEWISH HISTORY by Howard M. Sacher. Coming from a Reform Jewish background in a state known more for its Texas pride than Jewish pride, I have come a long way. It has been an exciting journey, but now I am sad and frustrated.
I went to Israel for the first time with the Israel Summer Institute in 1960, and of course, fell in love with Eretz Yisrael. I returned to complete my studies at the University of California at Berkeley. My love for Israel seemed to be growing daily and expressed itself in multiple pro-Israel activities on the campus. I turned Hillel into and instrument of Zionist influence on the campus. The Hillel rabbi (like most of them was not a true Zionist) and sought to rain me in. He failed as I formed the Student Zionist Organization and increased my activities. We brought a steady stream of Israeli speakers to the campus and introduced African-Israeli-Zionist Night. Running two years in a row, it consisted of African, Jewish, Israel food, culture, dancing, literature. I worked as a liaison for the Israel Consul in San Francisco. He provided us and the Africans with some funding and support.
In retrospect these were great years, and perhaps impossible to recreate in the conditions today on U.S. Campuses. Even then the 5000 Arabs on the Berkeley Campus tried to stop us by enlisting the services of Gamel Abdul Nasser (dictator of Egypt) to persuade the African to boycott us. He failed as our influence was paramount.