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What Builds The Relationship Between America and Israel?

Posted on 03/08/2013 @ 07:11 PM

In this week’s Torah portion, Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei, the Jewish people were tasked with helping to build the Mishkan (the Tabernacle). Not only did they give, they went above and beyond. Moses had to limit the amount that people could give in this important project. The Israelites were committed to ensuring a safe haven for the centrality of their tribe - - just as Jews today are committed to a strong, vibrant, and safe state of Israel. We are fortunate that America and Israel have a strong relationship. America provides Israel with vital military support and $3.1 billion thanks to the Foreign Aid Bill. American and Israel soldiers partner on joint military training, exercises, and development (e.g. Iron Dome, Israel’s state-of-the-art missile defense system and the Arrow Missile Defense System). But it’s not just military collaboration! Take, for example, the case of Re-Walk, technology developed in Israel that allows paraplegic individuals to walk again, which is being used heavily in the United States.

This past week, 60 BBYO teens were part of 13,000 pro-Israel advocates convened in Washington DC for three days of engaging discourse and learning about the most important issues facing Israel and the American-Israeli partnership today. As part of the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) Policy Conference our teens learned about new Israel innovations, listened to Vice President Biden proudly proclaim the US’s continuing support as an ally of Israel, heard from the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Congressman Eric Cantor and Senator John McCain, and engaged in a wealth of interactive discussions and learning opportunities.

As our teens learn from experiences such as AIPAC’s Policy Conference, Israel is much more than just war and hummos. I urge you to explore the wealth technologies, arts, culinary treat and secular and religious thought that Israel is adding to this world. Together we can build the America-Israel relationship through our creative and engaging SpeakUP! programs. We can steer our movement to continue to build this relationship, and to see what we are doing as central to the future of Israel and Jewish people around the world.

(Joey Eisman, Associate for Israel and Global Jewish Peoplehood, advocates on behalf of a strong America - Israel relationship and on behalf of this Shabbat message).

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