Students' standing start

By Anna Sheinman, September 30, 2013
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Some of the future young advocates for Israel during their fact-finding mission to the country

Some of the future young advocates for Israel during their fact-finding mission to the country

Thirteen pre-university students have returned from a week-long intensive programme in Israel designed to make them better campus advocates for the country.

During a programme run by support group StandWithUs UK, participants met senior diplomats at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and had briefings with IDF representatives including Major Ala Wahib, its highest ranking Arab-Israeli. The itinerary also took in the Peres Centre for Peace and a Druze village.

Nineteen-year-old Jake Berger, who is going to Oxford in October, said “a personal highlight was a visit to the amazing charity Save A Child’s Heart in the Wolfson Hospital. We met a woman there from Gaza City and her four-month-old daughter, who had just received life-saving heart surgery.”

The 13 will become StandWithUs fellows, working to promote constructive dialogue on campus. StandWithUs Europe director Tanya Stern said: “This trip not only provided our fellows with high-level educational briefings. We took them around the country to see for themselves.

“When these students are challenged on campus with an ‘Israeli Apartheid Wall’, they now have the tools to say: ‘We have seen Israel’s security fence, we have spoken to Israelis and Palestinians. This is not the reality on the ground.’”

Last updated: 11:45am, September 30 2013