The Brandeis Brief

January 23, 2009

Students came together in support of Israel at the Pro Peace Rally–Solidarity with Southern Israel on Sunday in the Shapiro Campus Center in reaction to the latest Israeli-Palestinian crisis. The event was sponsored by the Brandeis Zionist Alliance in an effort to raise awareness about the effects of the violence in Israel.

At the event, Phil Braunstein ‘12 told the crowd of his experiences in Israel during the 2006 war with Lebannon.

Braunstien said that while he had originally been planing on staying in the town of Nahariyah–only four miles from the Israeli-Lebanese boarder–he had to stay in Jerusalem instead.

“I remember for the Friday night dinner they had a TV tuned into a news station for the entire dinner,” he said. “the atmosphere was tense, obviously. The host pulled me aside and said to me ‘this is not how we normally do Friday night dinners, but this is a scary time for all of us.”

Jessica Kent ‘09 spoke of her experiences traveling in Israel over winter break and described the anxiety and fear that plagued the Israelis she met. Kent emphasized the effects that war and violence has on humanity.

Saghi Sofizon ‘11 emphasized to the crowd the complexity of the issue. Although Sofizon himself is Israeli, he urged the crowd to acknowledge that casualties have occured on both sides of the conflict. Peace, he said, is the only answer to the conflict that will satisfy both sides.

Students who attended the rally said they attended because they are passionate about Israel and wanted their voices to be heard.

“The media is portraying Israel in a negative way, and i think it is really important to get together and talk about what is really going on in the Middle East. Everyone has been negatively affected by this conflict and it is important to show both sides,” Michelle Hack ‘12 said.

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