If you’re going to defend Israel and fight BDS, you’ve got to do it in a professional way.

If you’re going to defend Israel and fight BDS, you’ve got to do it in a professional way.

By: Sam Jacobson

On Year Course we participated in a program called “Encounter”, where we visit East Jerusalem and hear the other side. I went in with a clear mindset of wanting to be helpful because we are the next generations- we are supposed to work out the problems. On Encounter, there was one guy the same age as us who was studying in East Jerusalem. When I talked to him he discussed things like falsifying documents, making up his own facts. I was shocked- he was only 18 years old and he’s already talking like this? After the “Encounter”, I realized right then and there that you’ve got to put your foot down or BDS is going to creep up on college campuses and inspire a generation of youth in the wrong way.

One of the best classes on Year Course is “Power of Persuasion”. For the past couple of years, I’ve been studying Israel, a little bit every day, and I keep a notebook with information I’ve learned because you never know when you are going to need this later in life. In Power of Persuasion, the stuff I was writing came alive through my teacher. He explained all of these events, how they are linked, and it was amazing. He talked not just about Israel but also Syria and Lebanon and how issues in the Middle East might affect Israel.

I also participated in the Core 18 Fellowship, which was a program for gap year students from many different organizations. On Core 18 we were educated on what to do in different circumstances- they gave us a lot of information and made me feel comfortable and ready to defend Israel in college. It’s not your job to convince everybody but it is your job to convince people who haven’t decided yet whether they want to support Israel or not, and they gave us the tools to do that. I will be attending Rutgers University this fall. There is an anti-Israel presence on campus and I am prepared to get involved and fight BDS.