Student advocates for Israel have finished a StandWithUs training programme preparing them to counter the annual Israel Apartheid Week at the end of March.

A group of 60 students concluded a full-day training session on Sunday, which included a presentation from a director of the Henry Jackson Society, together with involvement from Jewish and pro-Israel student groups.

The sessions covered international law, Israel history and media training from the Israeli embassy’s press attaché.

Organisers said there was “a focus on practical skills such as answering difficult questions, debating techniques and branding Israel differently on campus”.

Participant Joe Sigolo, a student at Queen Mary University, said: “Throughout the year I have faced anti-Semitism and suffered from anti-Israel activities on campus. All along I was motivated to speak out for Israel but never knew how to do so. Now I feel much more confident in my abilities to make a change and will be standing firm during Apartheid week.”

Tamir Oren, a director of StandWithUs UK, said the training would let the student advocates be “proactive rather than reactive,” adding: “We will not stand still while Israel is being labelled and lies are spread around our campuses and communities.”

Oren said that by the start of Israel Apartheid Week, his group would be launching 40 campus initiatives at universities across the country.