On April 18th, University of Georgia CAMERA Fellow, Michael Minnen, hosted an event featuring the organization Our Soldiers Speak. With help from UGA Chabad and UGA Hillel, Michael arranged for Sgt. Benjamin Anthony and Major Jonathan Conricus to visit the campus to speak to students and community about the Israel Defense Forces. Michael aimed to present attendees with an opportunity to hear the truth about life as an Israeli soldier. In bringing the event, he hoped to educate his campus community about the challenging decisions IDF soldiers are forced to make every day, in an effort to defend Israel from terror.

Michael wrote, “I wanted to use this event as an opportunity to increase awareness of UGA students about what is happening in Israel, what it is like for the soldiers and civilians, and to learn about how the IDF protects the citizens of Israel and also the noncombatants in hostile areas. It was my hope that this event would lead to a greater campus awareness of the challenges faced by Israel in trying to protect her people.”

Michael reported that the audience was engaged and interested, asking questions and listening closely to Maj. Conricus’ presentation. “The audience asked Major Conricus how Israel deals with the misleading, negative press that is so often published about Israel’s actions. Major Conricus spoke about training exercises with foreign soldiers, how these soldiers come to Israel with negative expectations and leave with a very different mindset, having seen that Israel is not what they have been led to believe, that it is not a violator of human rights, but a protector of those rights.”

By Samantha Mandeles

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