Mar 30, 2010

Liberty named activist of year by AIPAC

by Sandy Hodges

The largest gathering of congressmen and senators outside of political office assembled with the largest gathering of Student Government Association (SGA) presidents at the 2010 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) last week in Washington, D.C.

At the meeting, Liberty University was recognized with the Activist of the Year award, according to a news release from

The 2010 Policy Conference “brought together more than 7,500 pro-Israel advocates, including more than 1,300 pro-Israel campus advocates and 213 Student Government Association presidents. Students represented 370 campuses, from all 50 states and the District of Columbia,” according to a March 24 press release from AIPAC.

The release continued, “Student activists from Liberty University were presented with the ‘Activist of the Year’ award for their steadfast commitment to pro-Israel politics, which included outreach efforts to leaders of College Democrats, College Republicans, and the Student Government Association, and educating them on the Iranian nuclear threat.”

SGA President Matthew Mihelic, SGA Vice President of Student Affairs Taylor Webb, and Chair of the Stand with Israel Club James Kimmey accepted the award on behalf of Liberty.

After being elected Liberty’s SGA president, Mihelic along with Kimmey set plans in motion for making Liberty more aware and involved in the pro-Israel cause.

Liberty’s first annual Hanukkah Dinner held last semester to honor Israel was one of numerous efforts made by Liberty students supporting the pro-Israel cause.

Receiving the “Activist of the Year” award stands as evidence that students’ hard work and dedication to supporting Israel achieved the set goals and certainly did not go unnoticed.

“It was an honor representing Liberty University by showing America that we, as the next generation of evangelical Christians in America, support the Jewish people and the right to a free state of Israel,” Mihelic said.

When asked why he decided to actively support Israel, Mihelic answered: “I support the state of Israel because the Jewish people are God’s chosen people according to the Bible, because Israel is the only politically free ally of the United States in the Middle East, and because the Jewish people have been persecuted more than any other people in history and need a secure state where they can live freely.”

In an e-mail expressing appreciation to the student body presidents for attending the convention, Campus Political Director Alex Bronzo for AIPAC said, “As Jonathan Kessler and I indicated at our dinner Saturday evening, your Policy Conference invitation was not just an invitation to a conference, but rather an invitation for continued involvement.”

AIPAC is an organization which proclaims its constant focus is to assemble and strengthen relations between the United States and Israel. One way the American membership organization hopes to achieve its focus is through constantly supporting cooperation between the two countries in military and economic concerns, as well as cooperation in cultural and scientific matters.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Tony Blair and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School Alan Dershowitz were among the speakers at the three-day conference.

Contact Sandy Hodges at

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