UWI founder Michael Gerbitz (R) with Israeli Minister Gilad Erdan (UWI/Yissachar Ruas)

United with Israel’s historic initiative in support of Jerusalem remaining the undivided capital of the Jewish State has gathered 800,000 signatures from around the world.

United with Israel’s Jerusalem Declaration, the world’s largest pro-Israel petition, is a global statement of support for a united Jerusalem as both the eternal capital of the Jewish People and the undivided capital of the State of Israel. It has now gathered 800,000 original online signatures from over 170 countries.

On the same day that this milestone was reached, Michael Gerbitz, United with Israel’s founder and director, met with Israeli Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan to discuss collaborative efforts and strategies to defend the truth about Israel and how to wage the public diplomacy battle for Israel online.

UWI founder Michael Gerbitz (R) meets with Israeli Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan (UWI/Yissachar Ruas)

At the meeting, Gerbitz presented Erdan with a thick, 1124-page hardcover book containing the Jerusalem Declaration text along with a list of countries and the names of the first 500,000 signatories. When one million signatures are reached, United with Israel will publish a second volume with all the names.

Gerbitz shared his assessment of Israel’s public relations challenges, particularly with regard to how the media portrays Hamas’ narrative as equal to Israel’s. “Our job is to get the media to expose the true face of Hamas and to make the world view Hamas terror in the same way as they see ISIS and neo-Nazis,” Gerbitz told the minister.

“AP photos reach three quarters of the entire planet, and we need to get the right photos out there for the world to see,” he stated.

Erdan acknowledged the issue and told Gerbitz he “agreed with everything” he said, adding, however, that images from the Israeli side cannot “compete” with photos of injured Palestinian children, even if those photos are not authentic or do not reflect the reality of the situation.

Gerbitz lamented the fact that mainstream media images are often presented “out of context” and described how United with Israel’s calls to action address these issues. Concerning a recent incident, for example, a New York Times report accused the IDF of causing the death of an eight-month-old Palestinian baby, but when the facts proved otherwise, the paper neglected to issue a correction, an apology, or even a follow-up story with the correct details.

Barkat and Gerbitz

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat with UWI Founder Michael Gerbitz (UWI/Yissachar Ruas)

United with Israel’s initiative to protest the Times‘ anti-Israel piece defaming the IDF directed thousands of followers to blast the reporter for the injustice and to lodge a protest with the paper.

The Jerusalem Declaration exemplifies United with Israel’s grassroots power and ability to rally hundreds of thousands of followers around the world to take action for Israel.

Since the Jerusalem Declaration went live on United with Israel’s online platform several years ago, it has garnered support from individuals in every corner of the world, including Arab states and other countries that are fiercely critical of Israel. All of them are willing to stand with Israel in support of keeping Jerusalem united under permanent Israeli control.

The Jerusalem Declaration is historic in terms of being the largest display of grassroots support for a united Jerusalem as well as the largest pro-Israel online petition ever. The ongoing initiative can be viewed at www.jerusalemdeclaration.com.

Last year, just in time for the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Old City of Jerusalem and the reunification of the Israeli capital, United with Israel published the first volume of the Jerusalem Declaration – with 500,000 signatures from 168 countries.

A United with Israel delegation, headed by Gerbitz, presented the book to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who was visibly moved.

PM Netanyahu greets UWI Founder Michael Gerbitz at media conference in Jerusalem (Photo: UWI)

PM Netanyahu greets UWI Founder Michael Gerbitz at media conference in Jerusalem (UWI)

Netanyahu Praises UWI’s Historic Initiative

“It was most gratifying to see this tangible expression of the unwavering support of more than half a million of our friends from 168 countries around the world,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, upon receiving his own copy of the book, stated in a letter addressed to Gerbitz.

“The people of Israel appreciate United with Israel’s advocacy, educational efforts and unflinching defense of the truth,” Netanyahu said.

Last summer, United with Israel presented Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Education Minister Naftali Bennett each with a copy.

Upon hearing that United with Israel had garnered support from every corner of the world, including Arab and Muslim nations, Edelstein joked, “I wish we could do that at the United Nations.”

“Jerusalem is not only our history, but our destiny,” Bennett declared.

Bennett and Gerbitz

Education Minister Naftali Bennett and UWI founder Michael Gerbitz. (UWI/Yissachar Ruas)

As this article goes to print, the number of people who signed the Jerusalem Declaration has exceeded 802,000.

We’re aiming for a million, and it will happen this year,” Gerbitz stated. “And from there we will go for 2 million, as long as there are enough trees left to produce the paper on which we can print all of the signatures,” he quipped.

United with Israel’s Facebook page has 5.3 million followers, and that number is increasing dramatically as well.

United with Israel promotes global unity with the nation and land of Israel by spreading the truth about Israel; highlighting the positive global impact of Israeli technological and medical advances; fighting media bias, BDS and online incitement; and introducing calls to action that turn its followers into pro-active advocates for Israel.