If Not You, Then Who?: An Open Letter to the Pro-Israel Campus Community
Earlier this semester, my international affairs professor referred to Israel (in the context of its relationship with the United States) as “the tail that wags the dog.” Little did she know; a dog depends on its tail for balance. A dog without its tail could not stand steadily.
In the next lecture, we were presented with maps of Gaza prior to the 2005 withdrawal and told that these settlements remain in place to this day. We spent nearly a quarter of another lecture watching a Mearsheimer and Walt interview that echoed anti-Semitic undertones and narrow-minded bias.
There has been no mention in class of a pro-Israel narrative or anything that resembles it.
The course is titled, “Intro to International Affairs: A Washington Perspective”. Considering a recent 401-1 congressional vote on the US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act with overwhelming bipartisan support, I can confidently say that the information presented in class did not reflect a Washington perspective.
A friend and I approached the professor after class to express our concern over the maps she projected before the 250-student lecture. We did not want to attack her personal opinions, but knew that the maps were factually incorrect. She apologized and proceeded to tell us that she was not an expert on the Israel-Palestine issue. I appreciate her apology, but there was something fishy about her “lack of expertise” on such a pertinent issue at a university located at the heart of our nation’s capital. Not to mention; the international affairs school here consistently ranks among the top ten programs in the country.
As a freshman in my first semester, I hardly know my way around campus, and yet I already have been confronted face-to-face with anti-Israel bias.
Personally, I remain steadfast in my support for a strong US-Israel relationship and truly believe in its mutual benefits, but I’m not writing to tell you what you should believe. I’m not writing to make my case for Israel. I’m not writing to tell you that Israel is perfect. I’m writing to tell you that if you are a pro-Israel student on a college campus, the time to make your voice heard is now. Because if not now, then when? And if not you, then who?
The anti-Israel sentiment on campus has become apparent to me, even in my first months at school, but I continue to be proactive in my support of the US-Israel relationship. I encourage all other pro-Israel students to do the same. There is nothing more important than knowing the facts, staying involved on campus, and maintaining relationships with elected officials who recognize the benefits of a strong US-Israel relationship. Israel needs our support more than ever and from one pro-Israel student to another, I urge you to be an asset to the pro-Israel community.