Students raise awareness to Middle East conflict

Secretary of Defense Leon E Panetta speaks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference on March 6, 2012. The event was held in Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy of Secretary of Defense via Flickr Creative Commons)

Stemming from numerous revolutions and demonstrations, social unrest is a normality in the Middle East. From the notable Arab Spring that began 1 year ago, to the ongoing internal conflicts in Syria, there is always something happening in the Middle East. It is increasingly important to be aware of what is happening. Specifically for Americans: what is happening in Israel.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, also known as AIPAC, is a bipartisan, pro-Israel organization that encourages activists of all ages, religions and ethnicities to be politically engaged in the promotion of the United States-Israel relationship. Israel is America’s only democratic ally in what is often described as one of the world’s most volatile and important regions. ¬†According to the organization, it is important that this relationship is maintained.

AIPAC has worked with Congress to promote peace between Israel and its neighbors, facilitate United States-Israel exchanges of expertise and homeland security and to defend against terrorism. On college campu

ses, AIPAC focuses on empowering and educating student activists to answer Israel’s detractors and teaching them how to use political involvement to build support for Israel.

AIPAC is relatively new at the College of Charleston. Junior Nicole Lubel is striving to give the organization a presence. While there are a few people interested in joining, Lubel said she hopes to get more non-Jewish members.

Lubel has worked with SGA, and is planning to address Senate with a piece of legislation that would give AIPAC more recognition around campus. She is also trying to bring Tim Scott, U.S. Representative for South Carolina’s 1st congressional district, to campus in order to raise awareness of what is happening in the Middle East.

During the spring of 2013, Lubel along with other AIPAC members, hope to lobby in Washington, D.C.

Lubel said, “We mainly want to bring awareness about the Middle East and show that it’s not just a Jewish issue, but it’s also a worldwide issue.”

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