Feb 3, 2009

Gaza forum open to public

by caroline Harriso, News Reporter

 Liberty’s Stand with Israel Club will host an Arab-Israeli Conflict Forum at 6:30 p.m. in the Towns Alumni Ministry Training Center on Feb. 3.

The forum will answer controversial questions surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict, including, “Does this Jewish state have a right to exist?” and “Is the strong relationship that the United States and Israel share beneficial or harmful to our nation’s best interests,” according to a press release. It will last from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will be open to the public.

Expert speakers from varying political and religious backgrounds will be featured to provide a framework through which to view the Arab-Israeli conflict, as well as political and theological reasons to support Israel, according to Sean Langille, vice chairman of the Stand with Israel Club and campus advocacy coordinator.

Dr. Randal Price, president of World Bible Ministries and executive director and professor of Judaic studies at Liberty, will be speaking alongside Andrew Summey and Amy Berelowitz.

Berelowitz is a campus outreach coordinator for “the nation’s leading pro-Israel lobby,” the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (APAC).

Berelowitz will speak on the issues from the perspective of the Jewish community and one who has had inside experience in Washington, D.C.
Summey is the director of campus initiatives for Christians United for Israel (CUFI), according to the press release.

The forum is not intended to change people’s minds about Israel, according to Langille. The goal is to present the facts and allow the audience to draw their own conclusions.

“It is so important that we as Americans understand the issues and are aware of our surroundings because, as we saw in the past election, knowledge of the issues is so important,” Chairman of the Stand with Israel Club (SWI) James Kimmey said.

SWI has hosted several lectures with credible professors and experts discussing Israel and its role in the world in the past. However, this is the first large-scale event that SWI has put on, according to Kimmey.

“I’d like everyone to come with an open mind, a heart for truth and hope for the future,” Vice President of the Student Government Association Matthew McCain said.

SWI was started on Liberty’s campus four years ago with the purpose of educating students about the importance of supporting Israel.
SWI currently has around 20 active members. The emphasis within the club is not on numbers, but the amount of impact it has.

Members have the opportunity to join forces with CUFI and APAC and lobby in Washington, D.C. Students also have the opportunity to work with members of congress and other statesmen.

As a North Carolina resident, McCain has had the opportunity to do pro-Israel lobbying for Senators Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr.

“It is these types of experiences with our country’s leaders that really distinguish (SWI),” Kimmey said.

Membership is open to all students. There are no requirements except for “a heart for others,” according to Kimmey. For more information email Brian Colas at bcolas@liberty.edu.

Contact Caroline Harrison at
ctharrison@liberty.edu.

 


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