Confessions of an Overwhelmed Advocate

I met an Israeli teenager for the third consecutive day who explained to me that she didn’t care for politics. Naturally, as a student self-labeled by the title of his organization, Write On for Israel, as a pun-loving world news aficionado, this stream of unconsciousness caused a period of self-questioning for me: I am journeying to Israel to experience a multi-faceted view of the sovereign state, to meet business executives, politicians, and university professors, all for a seemingly void purpose.

I was always told that after the Palestinian authorities were to show as much interest in regional peace as the Israeli ones, then perhaps the beginnings of change would emerge; however, no one ever bothered to tell me that if I, an American high school student, am the only one concerned about the issue, perhaps advocacy really isn’t for me.

I currently and unreadily find myself at a fork in the road of Israel advocacy: I can give up on advocacy altogether and succomb to handing out free Sabra hummus at the school cafeteria to arouse shallow-rooted enthusiasm for an undefined and unbalanced idea of Israel, or discover new ways to instill in even self-proclaimed enemies of Israeli politics the ever-growing importance of finding new solutions to the age-old Palestinian-Israeli problem.

I must realize that this training is not for naught: cultivating a community of minds actively pursuing paths to peace within Israel and its neighbors is a task not fully out of reach. Perhaps, for success, all I’ll need is a focused topic and a 70’s pun.

About the Author
A current student at Haverford College, a liberal arts college just northwest of Philadelphia, and a graduate with honors of Glenbrook North High School of the northern suburbs of Chicago, Kevin Medansky has travelled to and lived in Israel, graduated as a Write On for Israel fellow, and published a dissertation detailing the many ingredients of an innovative society, using Israel as a case study.