Last week we held our annual Maccabee Academy. Close to 500 of our top student and professional partners from our 80 campuses converged on Las Vegas for a weekend of learning, training and collaboration.
As always, we were energized by our time together. We read a lot of negative headlines about Israel on campus. But the reality is far more encouraging.
Yes, there is great hostility towards Israel on campus. That’s not surprising. What is surprising — and always impressive — is the quantity and quality of students who are still willing to devote their time and effort to defending Israel. These students came out to Vegas from every corner of the country (and Canada) to learn how to better promote Israel on campus. And many of them had quite a lot to teach.
And yes, there are growing divisions within our own community. Some Jewish students are leading the fight for BDS on campus. Others, like some J Street U chapters, claim to oppose BDS but seem far more focused on attacking pro-Israel efforts like ours.
Yet the students who joined us here in Vegas proved that unity is still possible. Our students spanned the political spectrum from left to right. They differed on Israeli politics and American politics. They disagreed with one another and with us. But they came together despite these divisions because they all share the larger goal of resisting BDS and the delegitimization of Israel.
At the end of the day, the vast mainstream of the pro-Israel community is mature enough and serious enough to transcend their differences and join hands to oppose anti-Semitism. They are the rule that still overwhelms the exceptions. We are proud of them, and we are honored to help them. Our time together was an encouraging reminder to ignore the naysayers and keep moving forward
Maccabee Task Force, Executive Director