We’re still struggling to process the unmitigated evil we witnessed last week in Israel. Many of our campus partners, students, and even our staff members are among the multitudes who have been touched by loss in the wake of Hamas’ ultimate barbarity.
While I don’t quite know what’s to come or how the next months will play out, I promise you this: our work continues, it shall not stop, and it is more vital than ever. Now, over a week past the terror, there is resolve, and this resolve materializes in three forms as it builds amongst we the Jewish people and our allies.
First there is the resolve of strength. In the face of our enemies, we do not cower. Rather, we grow hardened, and we fight back. We become more unwavering in our commitment to Israel and focused towards building the land into a nation fit to prosper for ages to come.
The second form of resolve of which I speak, is that of goodness. Hamas’ evil will not turn our hearts to hate. We protect the vulnerable. We hold life sacred; we shelter the weak, and come to the aid of those in need.
The third form of resolve comes as hope. While SJP and anti-Israel groups of the like spouted their vile rhetoric on campuses across the world last week, MTF trip alumni showed up to support their Jewish peers. They posted in support of Israel on their social media accounts, wrote letters to student government and campus administrators demanding they issue public denouncements of Hamas’ terror and SJP’s demonstrations, they joined Jewish students for vigils, implored their peers to recognize the horror that was done unto Israel, and even donated money to their campus Jewish communities.
These students who are showing up for Jews on campus are of every background, every ethnicity, every religion. They are leaders of the most prominent groups on their respective campuses, and they are working hard to fight antisemitism by our side. In this, we find hope.
By taking non-Jews, specifically the most prominent and promising student leaders to the land to teach them the truth about the conflict, we’ve helped develop long-term alliances between powerful campus communities and the Jewish student population. Our program is working according to both our polling and to the stories Jewish students on campus share with us.
Of the students who hold anti-Israel views prior to going on an MTF Israel trip, 98% had shift towards a more favorable view of Israel by six months after the trip.
In a world where people are often entirely inflexible in their political views, MTF is actually changing minds. This fact may not take away our grief, it may not take away the horrors we’ve seen, but it does give us hope. Jewish students are no longer alone on campus, and one day soon, when our newfound allies inherit the world, Jews everywhere will be safer, and Israel’s future will be secured.
The Maccabee Task Force stands by Israel and with Jewish students, now and always.