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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Pro-Israel group set to make debut

Aggie Students Supporting Israel will make its debut Monday and host state Rep. Bill Flores to address a 100-strong Aggie audience about the importance of Israel.
Daniel Rosenfield, communication sophomore and organization president, said the launch is an opportunity to engage students in pro-Israel advocacy and to illustrate the 66-year-old country’s democracy and diversity.
“Being Jewish, Israel is my homeland, but it’s more than that,” Rosenfield said. “It is a religious, cultural and social haven. A strong state of Israel is a beacon of light in the Middle East for any faith, race, sexual orientation.”
Student Body President Kyle Kelly will attend the organization’s kickoff and give an account of his two experiences in Israel.
“I’ve been to Israel, once with my family in 2007 and once with a group in 2012,” Kelly said. “It was a terrific experience. I was able to see incredible biblical history and sights. It’s a very interesting part of the world.”
Flores said speaking to youth is one of the highlights of his career.
“I was very happy to be invited and I’m looking forward to speaking to them because these are key issues of our time, and if we want to have stability in the world we ultimately need to have stability in the Middle East,” Flores said.
Flores said he plans to address the bipartisan support in Congress for Israel as well as collaborative U.S. and Israel defense initiatives.
“I’ve actually visited the company and the engineers that built Iron Dome and I’ve been down near the Gaza strip,” Flores said. “I’ve seen the remnants of rockets that were fired against Israeli people and I’ve seen what Iron Dome has done to protect them. I have firsthand experience from my trip to Israel back in January of 2012 and I’ll share some of those observations and reflections in my visit with the students.”
Flores said he will address how he feels Israel directly correlates to American military defense and the future of democracy as a whole.
“A strong and secure Israel is directly tied to our national security,” Flores said. “I think that it’s imperative we continue to work to preserve our long standing alliance with Israel and to uphold the democratic rights of all people. It’s important that the United States continues to try to help provide for that foothold of democracy in the Middle East.”
Rosenfield, president of the Jewish student association, said he looks forward to hearing Flores’ story and personal connection.
“People hear on the news how Israel is torn, but he’s been to Israel, seen what it’s really like,” Rosenfield said.
Rabbi Matt Rosenberg said it is important to be educated about Israel in light of recent events.
“The events of this summer show anti-Semitism still exists,” Rosenberg said. “The world proves over and over that the Holocaust can happen again. It is my strong belief that the only way to prevent that is a safe refuge for Jews. That’s Israel.”
Rosenfield said the public should be concerned for Israel and its future.
“Support for the state of Israel is an important issue ­— it is America’s issue that we all have to learn about,” Rosenfield said. “A lot of people hear about it on the news but there is so much more to the story and there is so much more to the state of Israel.”

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