The day after the US elections
By: Natalie Menaged
Election day has come and gone, and whether or not your presidential candidate won, hopefully you were galvanized to show your support for Israel during the US election season.
Now that the elections are over, how can you continue to show your support for Israel?
Say thank you
Many congressional candidates, Republican and Democrat alike, published position papers outlining their support of Israel. You can find these positions articulated on their campaign web pages. In particular, check whether your newly elected or re-elected officials stated support for strong Iran sanctions, foreign aid, and the need for Israeli-Palestinian peace before there can be an independent Palestinian state.
Assuming that your officials hold these positions, thank them, even if you didn’t vote for them. Either way, they should be commended for their commitment to the US-Israel strategic alliance, and they should be assured that you, as a constituent, will be expecting them to follow through on their campaign promises. Remind your officials that the political, economic, and strategic ties between the US and Israel strengthen American interests, promote regional peace and enhance the security of both nations.
Elections — not just for Americans
A democracy like the US, Israel will hold elections in January. Use the opportunity to highlight shared democratic values between Israelis and Americans, such as equal voting rights, fair representation, the championing of women and minorities in elected positions, and government transparency. Especially at a time when people across the Middle East are being oppressed for standing up to dictatorships, one nation stands alone as a beacon of democracy and human rights – Israel.
For those of you in university, look for Hasbara Fellowships’ upcoming mock Israeli elections campaign, a fun and interactive way to educate your friends about Israeli democracy.
Stay updated, and be prepared
Stay updated on current events, because Israel is going to need your support in the coming months. Israel will face at least two enormous challenges on the international scene – the enforcement of sanctions to prevent a nuclear Iran, and the vote for recognition of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations, despite Palestinian failure to recognize or make peace with Israel. It will be important to remind our elected officials and friends about threats to the security of the Israeli people, as well as Israel’s sacrifices for peace. Even the most pro-Israel officials need us to be a source of information and encouragement when it comes time to take decisive action against these threats.
Remember, US presidential elections happen only once every four years, but support for Israel among lawmakers and the public must be maintained on a regular basis. Keep making a difference by staying educated and active.
Originally published in The Times of Israel