Thursday, March 4, 2010

Getting Serious With Stand With Us & IDF

I spent my evening over at the UConn Hillel for an IDF Soldiers Speak Out presentation, hosted by Stand With Us, the outstanding group that hosted my Birthright Trip back in 2008. The illustrious @YeahThatsKosher schlepped two IDF soldiers (Yoav and Avi, I believe it was) up to UConn (aka middle of nowhere) to talk to Hillel members about what it's like to be a soldier, the perception of the recent missions, the priorities of the IDF and Israel, and more. Although not too many people showed up (after all, there are more than 2,000 Jewish students on campus), it was a fairly good showing and the talk was interesting (I'm a sucker for an Israeli accent, too). Curious about Stand With Us? Here's the "About Us" from their website:
StandWithUs is an international education organization that ensures that Israel's side of the story is told in communities, campuses, libraries, the media and churches through brochures, speakers, conferences, missions to Israel, and thousands of pages of Internet resources.
StandWithUs was founded in 2001 in response to the misinformation that often surrounds the Middle East conflict, and the inappropriate often anti-Semitic language used about Israel and/or the Jewish people worldwide. StandWithUs has offices and chapters in Los Angeles, New York, Denver, Michigan, Chicago, Seattle, Orange County, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, the UK, Australia, and Israel.
They have oodles of information on their website, and this week being "Anti-Israel Apartheid Week" on so many college campuses, the website might have plenty to offer those of you out there looking for some good facts. One of the most shocking questions asked was by a much older gentleman who asked "Do you know what Israel is doing with the 3 billion dollars that the U.S. gives Israel?" The man went on and on about how Israel should be doing good things with "our" money -- after all, we want peace, so Israel should be using that money on peace. He also asked an asinine question about why Israel can't make a two-state solution out of making Gaza and the West Bank the Palestinian State.


Been there, done that. No sale. For those who aren't in the know, it's an all-or-nothing with the opposing parties. In the Hamas doctrine, in fact, it says flat out that peace doctrines or policies for peace are not part of the Islamic Hamas charter. Thus is thus. Now, I'm not saying the people talking peace with Israel are all Hamas, but you see what these Palestinians (who want peace) have to deal with.

My message? Read your materials, get your facts straight, know your history. Be an informed, global citizen! And most of all? Support Israel. Just do it!

And now for some post-IDF talk bus-waiting photography.

These couches look on-fire!