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From standing ovations to interruptions from silent protesters, Nadav Weinberg has experienced a wide range of reactions to his lectures. Weinberg travels to college campuses, in addition to other destinations, to educate people about the ethical codes of the Israel Defense Force.
In the aftermath of the recent Israeli operation in Gaza, much of the world has an opinion, but few care to understand why Israel was forced to go to war in the first place. For the past eight years, civilians in southern Israel have faced a near-constant barrage of rockets and mortar shells.
The Muslim Student Association (MSA) and Hillel at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) hadn’t spoken to each other since a conflict flared between them several years ago. All that changed recently as the groups worked together to organize a peace rally on VCU’s campus.
With the amount of missiles and gunfire hitting Israel and the Gaza Strip over the past month, it is hard to imagine why anyone would voluntarily take a trip there. However, most of Israel is a beautiful landscape far from war-torn, but seeing the country in pereson only makes it slightly easier to understand the endless territorial fighting.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stood before the UN General Assembly and said, “The dignity, integrity and rights of the American and European people are being played with by a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists.” He called Zionists an “acquisitive and invasive people.”
Pro-Israel students at the University of Maryland are intent on voicing their concern over the strategic threat posed by Iran to both the Jewish state and the United States. “We wanted to make it clear, however, that our beef is not with the Iranian people, but with Ahmadinejad,” cautioned Avi Mayer, president of PITA, the Pro-Israel Terrapin Alliance.
The hope was that, through the fair practice of democracy, the Palestinian people would finally move toward establishing a peaceful society. Not surprisingly, this did not occur when elections were held in January; a clear majority of voters caste their ballot for Hamas, a U.S. Department of State and Treasury-designated terrorist organization.
College Democrats and College Republicans faced off in a debate yesterday, where hot-button issues such as stem-cell research, immigration, the war in Iraq and Israel dominated the discussion. The debate, held at the Hillel Center and organized by the Pro-Israel Terrapin Alliance, was the first and only debate between the two student groups.
Aviv, the winner of MTV’s Fresh Meat: Real World/Road Rules Challenge came to speak about her other challenging experience — being in the Israeli Defense Forces — as well as her life in Israel, and her interesting experiences on the reality show.
The importance of fighting the war on terror was not taken seriously enough this summer when the United States and the rest of the world failed to commit themselves to defending democracy and fighting international terrorism.