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A Young Democrat's Perspective from AIPAC by Liza Cushnir

Hannah Kekst and Liza Cushnir at AIPAC Policy Conference 2018

I went into AIPAC not knowing what to expect. I knew I would be one of the more liberal teens in our delegation, and I also thought I might also be one of the more liberal people attending. While I consider myself very liberal, I love Israel. However, I also believe that Israel, like all countries, is not perfect. I went into my AIPAC experience hopeful, but also a little nervous. Would it be super biased? Would I feel singled out for being more liberal? Would I be called anti-Israel (as I have been called in the past) for voicing my opinion that Israel sometimes does things I think are wrong?

I shouldn’t have worried. I had a great time, and never once felt uncomfortable voicing my beliefs. While I definitely heard some things from the speakers that I disagreed with, I learned a lot. I learned how easy it is to think Israel isn’t perfect, but also to be able to see all the good things about Israel, and still be a pro-Israel activist. I learned how much American politics impact Israeli life, how dependent the American economy is on the Israeli economy and much more.

I wasn’t thrilled with all of the speakers and what they said, but I thought there was a lot of effort put into bipartisanship, and that showed. I wasn’t thrilled hearing some of the things said by Nikki Haley or Mike Pence (but I have to admit it is pretty darn cool to hear from the sitting vice president), but I was thrilled to hear from Chuck Schumer. I also thought the speakers on tech and other fields were great. Overall, I am very glad to have gone to AIPAC.  It was a fascinating experience I would strongly recommend.

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