Dec 3, 2013
By: Miranda Lapides, Hasbara Fellow '13
It’s been quite an exciting semester for the pro-Israel community here at George Mason! The Israel Student Association has had two big events this semester, our first one being a fundraiser for Syrian refugees called Step Up for Syria. We had papers face down and for every $5 that was donated to a paper, we would flip that piece over. Ultimately, the flipped papers created a larger image of a Syrian child, a fact about the conflict, and an inspirational quote by Anne Frank. We raised about $360 that would go to the Red Cross to improve the quality of life for refugees. Our group along with members of Alpha Epsilon Pi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon helped make this successful event possible.
Nov 13, 2013
By: Ron Feingold '13 & Shira Frishman '12, Hasbara Fellows
One of the most basic concepts discussed in an introductory economics class is that people respond to incentives. Whether they are used to reward positive and wanted behaviors or to punish unwanted ones, incentives play a major role in the decision making of individuals.
Governments oftentimes use incentives to promote a certain policy amongst their citizens. Last week, for example, the Israeli government released 26 Palestinian prisoners — all convicted murderers — as a goodwill gesture to encourage and expedite the American-brokered peace talks.
Shabbat in Jerusalem
By: Maya Liss
Shabbat in Jerusalem. 30 Israel activists, in the mists of their training, taking the time to rest and reflect on all the learning they had done so far.
While we all started to walk to the Kotel, the rain started to fall. Most turned around quickly and walked back inside. I, however, just kept walking. I don’t know what got into me but I was determined to have my moment at the Kotel, rain or no rain.
I waited patiently in line to get through security while the rain continued to fall. Not even giving it a second thought that Jews have to wait in line and go through security to visit our holy sites. This has become the norm in a land of conflict.
The rain continued to fall, but nothing was going to stop me. I was already soaked before I even made it. I said a few words and had my time in front of the Western Wall, enjoying every moment.
As I walked back, I felt proud. I started to think about how important that moment at the Kotel was, how there are so many Jews all over the world praying in the direction of where I was standing. I thought about how so many people are not able to come to the Kotel for their Shabbat, and how lucky I was to have been there.
I realized then that this is what kept me walking towards the Kotel in the rain. Something, deep inside me, compelled me to take my time in front of the Western Wall, not for me but for all those other people who couldn’t that Shabbat.
I took those steps in the rain for the Jewish people before 1967, before the Kotel was liberated, and for the Jewish people who did not live to see the reunification of Jerusalem. I stood in front of the Kotel for the Jewish people, all over the world.
As the Hasbara Fellows return to their campuses to share their experiences in Israel and the knowledge they have gained, I ask that you all return and think about all those people who have not been able to make the trip to Israel. Share what you have learned and be an advocate for Israel based on what you have seen firsthand. Support Israel and be a spokesperson for Israel for all those who are unable to and for all those who are not as lucky as you are to have had the Hasbara experience.
Good luck this semester and know that the Kotel will be waiting for your return, rain or shine.