The following essay was written by 15-year-old Adam Hoffman, a resident of Houston, in advance of the 2016 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington, DC. Hoffman is a member of United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston and a 10th grader studying at the Robert M. Beren Academy.
Be it a nuclear Iran, an ISIS cell, or more lone wolf stabbings, the threats to Israel seem to be ever increasing. As the danger grows, so does my role as an advocate for the Jewish state. Attending the AIPAC Policy Conference decorates me with guidance needed to be a defender of Israel. It will allow me to hear from policy makers, analysts, pundits, and leaders of America and the Middle East. I will gain facts to counter lies and methods of promoting truth to counter campaigns of hate. In addition, I will be able to join my fellow adherents of the cause to make a stand. I will be reinvigorated by the strength of the community and encouraged to take action, knowing that I am not alone. Though I will not be the only one moved, members of Congress and government officials of all levels will see the power of such a lobby. They will see that support for Israel persists to be impregnable.
The endearing relationship between the United States and Israel is not without reason. Israel, since its founding 68 years ago, has been a staunch ally of in a region plagued with animosity towards the shared values of the two countries. In the Middle East, Israel has been a lonely supporter of human rights, democracy, and tolerance, the very principles that America was founded upon. The chains of steel connecting the cultural and religious links between our nations remains resilient.
So closely connected by common ideals, America and Israel continue to support each other in their joint struggle in defense of Western civilization. Up until recently, it was Israel that was fighting at war’s frontier. Since, the crusade has reached the shores of America and other Western nations. Given Israel’s experience dealing with terror, the country is able to give valuable intelligence, training, and counsel to America and tactics to thwart deadly strikes. Beyond a repayment, but an acceptance of mutual respect, the United States continues to financially support the military ventures of the Jewish state. For as long as AIPAC thrives and continues to galvanize Israel advocates, this relationship will continue to flourish.
Personally, attending the AIPAC Policy Conference will allow me to experience AIPAC’s inspiration. AIPAC turns Israel lovers into Israel advocates. AIPAC revamps followers of the Jewish state into erudite believers in the Zionist mission. As someone involved in our political process, this catalyst is crucial. It will equip me with the necessary means to defend and promote Israel. It will motivate me to be an unabashed backer of Israel. Already, I have fought for the Jewish state by actively arguing on its behalf and co-founding an Israel advocacy club at my high school. Yet, I know that in today’s vicious world, this is not enough. The policy conference will grant me the instruction I need on the way forward. AIPAC will steer me into the needed direction and give me the bricks to pave a pathway to success in this realm.