The U.S. and Israel, Friends Forever?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama
Why do I support Israel? Why do Americans support Israel? Better yet whydon’t some Americans support Israel? Since 1948 Israelis and Americans alike have been searching for answers to these questions. I support Israel for multiple reasons. However, I am saddened to tell you I am one of the few. I’m one of the few who stand with my Jewish brothers and sisters by reaching out a hand and helping to carry the load that has been placed on their backs throughout history. From the horrors of the Holocaust to blatant betrayal from our very own President Obama, it seems like Israel doesn’t have many friends, but I can assure you I am one of them!

Founded on May 15, 1948, Israel was a tiny nation no bigger than the state of New Jersey. It was established as the “Jewish Homeland,” a state for the most persecuted people in the history of the world. From the moment of its inception Israel was attacked, demonized, and delegitimized by its neighbors. Why? What has Israel done to deserve such a reputation in the world’s eyes? A trip through the history books reveals a multitude of accusations of “War Crimes” brought before the UN – an organization which has proven to be one of Israel’s biggest detractors. All people are entitled to a homeland, peace, liberty, and acceptance. So why has Israel struggled for these fundamental rights?

The battle for recognition is the battle the Israelis have been fighting ever since their state’s creation. This fight doesn’t just play out at the UN General Assembly or on the Gaza strip, but also in college campuses across the United States. Antisemitism has recently come back into style (kind of like Britney Spears). It is now commonplace to walk onto a university campus and witness a “Die-In” or an “Israeli Apartheid Wall.” Campuses such as UC Berkley, UNLV, Columbia, UC Irvine, and countless others all harbor the anti-Israel or anti-Zionist attitudes working to penetrate and indoctrinate the youth of today.

Whether it is staged Die-Ins, anti-Israel speakers, spray painted swastikas, protesting, or actual physical violence, antisemitism is very real on college campuses across the nation. The Muslim Student Association, funded by the Muslim Brotherhood – an organization with a very questionable and controversial past, is a prominent voice for this attitude. This war the Jews are fighting is not a physical war, it is an ideological war. Israel is battling an enemy that denies their entire existence and right to exist. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has openly vowed on countless occasions to “wipe Jews off the map, and cast them in the Mediterranean.” Muslim extremists have also stated (when referring to people they want to eliminate), “it’s the Saturday people first and the Sunday people second.” Israel is seen as the “Little Satan” while America is viewed as the “Great Satan.”

Not only is this a growing problem within the colleges of America, support for Israel is waning in Washington DC. This past Friday, US Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman accused Israel of generating a spate of antisemitism due to their inability to reach a two-state solution with the Palestinian people. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was treated very poorly when he visited the United States earlier this year, days after President Obama called for a return to 1967 borers in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. Better yet, French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Netanyahu a “liar” only to be outdone by President Obama who said, “You are sick of him, but I have to work with him every day. ” The US-Israel relationship has remained intact and strong ever since Israel’s founding in 1948, however our current administration is rapidly turning its back on one of our nation’s strongest allies.

Do I have your attention yet?  Our support for the nation of Israel and the Jewish people is vital to our nation’s future success as well as the future success of Israel. It starts with us – college students! Abraham Lincoln once said, “The philosophy of the classroom today will be the philosophy of the government tomorrow.” We have to take a stand on campus and show our professors and fellow students we will not back down from the fight.

Now that we know what is going on, how can we make a difference? Many outlets for pro-Israel advocacy exist on campus and are waiting for students who are ready and willing to take a stand and defend the Jewish people and the land of Israel against on campus antisemitism. Organizations such as Christians United for Israel bring Christian students together in support. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)  takes a more political stance. There is also StandWithUs, Zionists of America, Hillel; there are plenty of ways to make your voice heard. It is our responsibility as young conservatives to ensure our nation’s relationship with Israel remains strong. If you find instances of antisemitism on your campus be it students or professors, say something. Together we can help ensure our generation does our part and preserves this special relationship for generations to come.

Jacob Harmon // University of California at San Diego // @jacobsonlv