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by Avi Rothwachs (’16)

On Monday, December 9th 2015, IDF Sergeant Benjamin Anthony, founder of “Our Soldiers Speak,” an organization that brings Israeli soldiers to high schools and universities across the world to discuss current events and provide an accurate point of view on modern day Israel, addressed the MTA student body on precisely that topic. Sgt. Anthony, whose primary focus was to provide an adequate rundown of modern Israeli history and politics, which he asserted that most teen-agers and not really aware of other than in the most general way, began his lecture by guiding the students through each of Israel’s wars, mentioning his own personal anguish, and emphasizing the world’s support (or lack thereof) during each one. This rundown was then followed by an explanation of the steps one may take today in order to defend Israel in a secular setting should the need ever arise and to counter the misinformation so prevalent in many circles, especially academic ones, today. To tie his speech together, Sergeant Anthony graciously answered any questions the students had after the session and was thanked for doing so. This event, which featured the second Hatzioni provided speaker of the year, proved a huge success and the student body is looking forward to seeing who else the club can attract to MTA.

Sgt. Benjamin Anthony subsequently spoke to the presidents of Hatzioni and said, “Don’t call yourselves an Israel Advocacy club. My father used to be a criminal justice lawyer; he used to advocate for thieves and criminals. Those are the type of people that require ‘advocacy.’ Israel does not need advocacy. You guys are an Israel Education Club. An Israel Promotion Club. Not Israel Advocacy. Israel requires YOU, not your advocacy. Always think before you say anything. Words mean everything.”

 

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