Darin Weiss founded Israel advocacy group Here is Israel earlier this year to combat the hostility facing the Jewish state on college campuses in North America.
Weiss, a film producer who operates out of California and Oregon, is focusing on reaching his demographic through short films of between 1 and 6 minutes. In that vein, he’s begun to shoot and post them on popular video sharing sites, including YouTube and Vimeo.
One of his recent films, a music video, actually, features American Jewish rapper Ari Lesser. If the number of views is any indication, then Weiss appears to have hit the mark; in two days, the video has been viewed over 25,000 times on YouTube.
“I really think we’re going to see this take off,” Weiss told The Algemeiner. “I think this will hit the one million viewer mark.”
The song, ironically titled “Boycott Israel,” is written and performed by Lesser, as a cri de coeur, appealing to boycotters of Israel to continue to do so if they must, but to first become educated about the issues: “We’re not perfect, but if you think we’re the worst, first take a look at the rest of the Earth.”
Lesser raps about what he sees as the double standard among proponents of boycotting Israel who criticize the country while ignoring the crimes of all other nations, many of which have truly deplorable human rights conditions.
“I had seen Ari on YouTube and I was really taken by all his work, ” Weiss told The Algemeiner. “So, I contacted him and let him know we’re working on a new project, trying to help out Israel, trying to combat what’s going on on the college campuses with the beauty of Israel, instead of just going head to head with [anti-Israel activists] on campus. We thought what better way to prove that they’re telling a bunch of lies than to show the beauty of Israel and provide other educational tools.”
Lesser readily agreed and has two other songs in the works that will be released in the near future as music videos online.
“Many of our videos are just meant to show students the ‘beauty’ of Israel, the musicians, the artists, the citizens who want to live in peace,” Weiss says.
And then there are the other videos, such as “Boycott Israel,” that embrace the role of activist, not with a pedantic tone, but with an imploring one.
“Our motif is ‘don’t just take our word for it. Do your own homework, do your own research, stop believing everything you’re told and find the truth for yourself,’” says Weiss.