Knesset lobby recruits Christian ‘ambassadors’ to counter pro-Palestinian campaigns against Israel on overseas campuses. ‘When you send a Jewish student, they immediately say he’s not objective,’ explains MK Yoel Hasson
In recent years, more and more Israeli politicians lecturing in universities abroad have had to deal with disturbances stirred up by pro-Palestinian students, forcing them to halt their lectures, or even canceling them altogether.
The recent phenomenon led Knesset members to come up with a creative solution, realizing the response to Muslim demonstrations of force will not come from young Jewish students, but rather from Christian ones, who are just as eager to defend Israel.
The Knesset for Christian Allies Caucus lobby, headed by Knesset Member David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu), began locating and training Christian students in every prestigious university and collage in North America and Europe, with the aim of establishing a non-Jewish support group that will represent the Israeli side in each campus.
The lobby, which includes dozens of MKs from all across the political spectrum, is considered one of the most active lobbies in the Knesset.
As part of the initiative, lobby members contacted Evangelical organization Eagles’ Wings, which helped them locate suitable Christian students abroad. The admission requirements: Both written and oral eloquence and the ability to speak in front of an audience.
So far, 150 students have been trained for the program, while the aim is to train an additional 30 students annually. The “ambassadors” undergo public relations courses, visit Israel and meet with politicians, members of the academy and Foreign Ministry diplomats.
The last group of 15 students to visit Israel, concluded their trip only 10 days ago.
“When you send a Jewish student to defend Israel, they immediately say he’s not objective,” explained lobby member MK Yoel Hasson (Kadima).
“However, when a large group of Christian students presents the truth about Israel from the standpoint of a non-Jew – that Israel is not a military state, but an advanced high-tech country – it has a twofold value,” he added.
Thus far, Israel support groups have been established at Oxford University in Britain, Amsterdam University in The Netherlands, and Berkley, Georgetown and Florida Universities in the Unites States, as well as the prestigious American colleges Wheaton and Pepperdine.
“This initiative has the potential to turn the tide in favor of Israel on campuses throughout the United States and Europe,” said Director of Knesset Christian Allies Caucus Josh Reinstein.
The participating students, on their part, said they were receiving positive feedback.
“We do not engage in political debates,” explained one of the Christian students, “but instead talk about issues everyone can relate to. It’s the simple truth about Israel. If we wouldn’t talk about it, no one else would have countered the horrible lies that are being spread against you,” he said.