A week after a Democratic presidential wannabe urged the carving up of the Memorandum of Understanding between Israel and the United States, over 400 high school students from New Jersey and across the nation lobbied members of Congress to keep that relationship sacred.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders told J-Street conference delegates that part of the $3.8 billion allocated to Israel should be considered for Hamas-controlled Gaza. He joined Massachusetts senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren in threatening to bite into the MOU, a 10-year-agreement born during the Obama administration.
But the future was very much in evidence earlier this week at the AIPAC Schusterman Advocacy Institute High School Summit in Crystal City, Va. There, the high school students learned that any future threat to the strong connection between the two democracies was clearly their concern. That they could take action toward a secure future for Israel and lobby for that security was a breath of fresh political air on the Hill.
Students lobbied for a secure MOU future as well, asking Congress to support an increased United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to help neutralize the ever-increasing Hezbollah threat on Israel’s northern border as described in the bi-partisan Luria-Zeldin-Stevens-Waltz letter to the UN.
Almost every hotel conference room late into Monday night was filled with high school students preparing to discuss Iran’s threat to Israel, the MOU and the bi-partisan letter to the U.N. secretary general concerning Lebanon.
While the likes of Sen. Sanders desecrate the sacred friendship of Israel and the U.S., 400 high school students honored the past, present and future of this important relationship. It is a friendship that is critical to both countries.
We are proud of these teenagers, especially at a time when it seems easier to find more negatives than positives about young people in the media.
These teens, however, were determined and motivated to get to work, first in a hotel in Northern Virginia and then in the congressional halls of the world’s most powerful nation.
It was a time to be proud and to experience the promise of our children.