St. Thomas siblings Andrew and Angie Hasek were inspired to start a pro-Israeli group on campus after attending the Christians United for Israel conference.
The pair received a scholarship from the CUFI organization to attend the conference held in Washington D.C. from July 14 -19. The main goal was to train activists who support Israel and have them establish groups on campus around the U.S.
“It is important for us to spread the message of standing with Israel because it is a time of uncertainty for Israel, especially as Iran develops a nuclear weapons program,” Andrew, a political science and economics major, said.
Students wave flags and show support at a large summit event named "A Night to Honor Israel." (Courtesy of Angela Hasek)
The organization began as a grassroots movement in San Antonio, Texas, in 2006 focused on the support of Israel and Jewish people. The CUFI website states that the organization is the largest pro-Israeli organization in the United States and is one of the leading Christian grassroots movements in the world.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined the conference via satellite, and he was one of many experts who addressed issues like Arab-Israeli conflict and national security. Other speakers attending the conference included Rep. Michele Bachmann, Gary Bauer, an adviser to President Ronald Reagan, and Ari Fleischer, press secretary to President George W. Bush.
“I learned a great deal about foreign affairs, the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East, and why the United States should support Israel,” Andrew said. “It was nice to hear speakers from different areas of expertise, especially former advisers to presidents and people who have spent a lot of their career studying Israel.”
Kristopher Jobe can be reached at email@example.com.