(MiamiHerald).More than 1,200 people flocked to Watson Island Sunday morning to hear how they can fight efforts by foreign nations, academics and the media to condemn Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and defend itself against attacks from its enemies, Boycott, divest and sanction was one of several topics that were discussed during ``Combating the Campaign to Delegitimize Israel,'' sponsored by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.
Special guest speaker Michael B. Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, told the largely Jewish crowd at Jungle Island that the delegitimization of Israel is an existential threat. He called on them to fight against a campaign to ``boycott, divest and sanction Israel'' or BDS.
``It's a new type of warfare being waged in the media, in supermarkets and even schools.''
``When there is a boycott of Israeli products -- buy them. When trade unions and universities want to companies to divest of their holdings in Israeli companies -- invest in them. When there is a speaker from Israel -- attend the speech and make sure the speaker can be heard,'' Oren said.
"Most of all, "We must educate our community about BDS. We must unite actively to combat it."
Other speakers included Natan Sharansky, a former Soviet dissident and one of the founders of the refusenik movement; Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School; U.S Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston.
Norman Braman, co-chair of the summit, said the event was crucial.
``It's like all of a sudden, people began saying the U.S. has no right to exist because it persecuted the Indians and took land from Mexico,If you can picture people challenging America's right to exist, that's the same as the situation in Israel today.''