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

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

The Battalion

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Israeli support finds home at Texas A&M

Aggie Students Supporting Israel, ASSI, will host its “Israel Fair” on Thursday in an effort to teach the Texas A&M community about the culture and politics of Israel.

Jonathan Rahmani, senior kinesiology major and ASSI chief of staff, said the event’s main goal is to break the stereotypes and common misconceptions people have about Israel, and to better open people’s eyes to what Israel has to offer.

“The majority of students on campus are pretty apathetic about things when it comes to the Middle East, specifically with regards to Israel,” Rahmani said. “Our goal is to let people know the cool things about Israel, such as how modern it is with regards to anything from LGBT and equality to its innovative and technological ideas.”

Rahmani said there will be 10 tables stocked with different snacks, activities and information on varying topics.

“Topics will be anywhere from talking about Israeli innovation and sustainability in Agriculture to Israeli politics and how it relates to U.S. politics, and how to get involved with the political agenda in regards to Israeli-American affairs,” Rahmani said.

Rahmani, who visited Israel during winter break with a group of 10 A&M students, said his experiences on the trip as well as his personal family ties make him passionate about teaching others about Israel. 

 “It’s a very very cool place.” Rahmani said. “They took a desert and turned it into a metropolis and a thriving country, and the fact that they were able to do that in less than 60 years is just incredible.”

Founded this past fall, ASSI has worked closely with Hillel over the past couple semesters.

Emily Schneider, senior agriculture communication and journalism major and Hillel VP of Israel programming, said the event will partly serve as ASSI’s “coming out” event as its own separate organization.

“Aggies Students Supporting Israel are really using this event to get their name out to students on campus,” Schneider said. “They are really transitioning from almost being a sub organization of Hillel to now being an entirely separate organization altogether.”

Schneider, who also went to Israel over winter break, said her experiences had a strong impact on how she looked at her own life in the United States. 

“We are in such a bubble,” Schneider said. “There are bombings left and right — we would not be able to fathom if that was our life. If there were a bomb threat here or a Code Maroon, we would all freak out. That’s their everyday life.” 

The event will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday in Rudder Plaza. 

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