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Sunday, June 23, 2024
The Eagle

Op/Ed: Israel groups at AU are stronger than ever

AU Students for Israel find Israeli events a great way to open discussion

The events put on by AU’s Israel groups so far this semester have been very successful at bringing together the pro-Israel community of all different backgrounds. With the many opinions people have about Israel, these events spark open dialogue, new information and a way to show support for the Jewish state. Two distinguished events that AU Students for Israel (AUSFI) was a part of was the Progressive Case for Israel and the Israel Gala (hosted by all the pro-Israel groups).

We were privileged enough to hear Ann Lewis, the former senior campaign manager for Hillary Clinton in 2008, and Natasha McKenzie, the president of National College Democrats, discuss how Israel is a progressive state. Both speakers expressed their passion about Israel, and what the Jewish state means to them. 

Aside from being the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel is a close ally of the United States as well, which Ann Lewis made very clear. What was most insightful however, was listening to Natasha McKenzie’s first experience in Israel and the connections she is able to make because of her position in National College Democrats. It was very refreshing to hear such positive words about Israel from two distinguished leaders.

Co-sponsored by all the pro-Israel groups on campus, the Israel Gala was a great opportunity for students to learn more about what these groups have to offer in a fun atmosphere with Israeli food and music.

“Israel is an easy cause to unite behind, because Israel is an open vibrant democracy where there is rule of law, freedom of religion, where minorities have full and equal rights, and is a leader of medical and science innovation. I am happy to see that we are all here tonight to unite behind the one beacon of democracy in the Middle East,” Ian Hersh, president of AU Students for Israel, so eloquently stated as he introduced the event.

After the introductions of the different group’s mission statements and goals, Shelley Keder (vice president for Israel Engagement and Education of Hillel) discussed how important the work being done by the pro-Israel groups on campus is. The fact that all the groups share the common goal of advocating for the State of Israel despite some fundamental differences is impressive.

I am very grateful to be apart of such a strong Israel campus here at AU where students are dedicated and engaged in their goals and motivated by their love for Israel.   

Shelly Dekalo is a sophomore in the School of International Service.

As the semester comes to an end and one of the founding members leaves American University, Section 202 has decided to take a trip down memory lane. For our fans, old and new, who are wondering how Section 202 came to be, this episode is a must. Listen along as hosts Connor Sturniolo and Liah Argiropoulos reminisce about the beginning of Section 202 and how it got to where it is now.

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