NEAR EAST REPORT AIPAC'S BIWEEKLY ON AMERICAN MIDDLE EAST POLICY

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Students from across the United States came to AIPAC’s Saban Leadership Seminar to learn about pro-Israel political activism.
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At the Saban Leadership Seminar, students were able to ask questions to Middle East experts and political pundits.

400 Students Gather in Washington for
AIPAC Training

More than 400 pro-Israel campus activists gathered in Washington, D.C., last December for AIPAC’s Saban Leadership Seminar. The Seminar, which occurs twice each year, prepares American college and high-school students to advocate for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.

Representing over 150 American campuses, seminar participants learn about the importance of maintaining lasting relationships with campus leaders and policymakers across the country.

“AIPAC has opened up my eyes to an entirely new method of supporting the Jewish state,” a Northwestern University student said of her experience at the conference. “It was truly empowering to see hundreds of college students from all across the country gathered together to learn how to advocate for Israel. The Saban Seminar has equipped me with the skills I need to be an educated and confident advocate for Israel.”

“I found Saban to be truly life-changing,” said another seminar participant from Indiana University. “Never in my life have I seen such effective and intelligent approaches to maintaining the U.S.-Israel alliance. I was both surprised and impressed to find that the Saban Leadership Seminar far surpassed anything that I’ve seen before in terms of training students how to effectively advocate for Israel.”

A high-school student from Irvine, CA, called the conference “one of the most valuable and inspiring events” he had ever attended. “The knowledge and commitment of the participants allowed the conference to be so incredibly informative.”

This winter’s four-day conference introduced a new program format, designed to provide students with opportunities to customize their training and to interact with experts in smaller group settings. Throughout the seminar, a range of policy experts discussed complex issues affecting Israel’s security and the U.S.-Israel relationship, including Israeli peacemaking efforts and the dangers of Iran’s nuclear ambitions

Other sessions focused on strengthening students’ ties to campus leaders and members of Congress, emphasizing the value of participation in the American political process. A series of workshops addressed the pillars of the U.S.-Israel alliance, illustrating Israel’s importance to the United States and the significance of American-Israeli cooperation.

“The seminar’s breakout sessions were highly educational and useful,” commented one student from the University of Alabama. “While they clarified complex historical and political concepts, the sessions created valuable opportunities to educate leaders about the challenges currently facing America and Israel.”

Students also heard from opinion leaders and political analysts who discussed current and compelling topics on the U.S.-Israel relationship. The seminar’s program included The New Republic Literary Editor Leon Wieseltier, Wall Street Journal editor Bret Stephens and nationally syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. Democratic strategist Ann Lewis and The Weekly Standard editor William Kristol also addressed students during the conference, presenting an analysis of Washington’s new political landscape.

During the spring semester, AIPAC campus activists will engage student leaders and political officials to emphasize the value of the U.S.-Israel alliance. Through a variety of outlets and platforms, these students will use their AIPAC training to strengthen American ties to Israel today and in the future.

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