On November 20th, 2015 Binghamton University Zionist Organization (BUZO), SUNY Binghamton’s Emet for Israel supported group, hosted Sgt. Benjamin Anthony for Shabbat dinner together with Chabad. This was not the first time that Anthony had been invited to speak by BUZO and CAMERA at Binghamton, but it was still an honor to have him present his experiences in such an engaging manner. In the past, Anthony’s words left students feeling inspired so it was only a matter of time before he came back to Binghamton to share with a new group of undergraduates.
Sgt. Benjamin Anthony is originally from the UK, but is now a reservist for the Israel Defense Forces and the founder of Our Soldiers Speak. Anthony captured the attention of all 400 students in the room as he shared his personal journey. He spoke about the dangers of growing up in the UK as a Jew, and a brutal anti-Semitic attack that he and his brothers endured on their way home from school.
Shortly after this traumatizing occurrence, he decided to move to Israel. He made it a point to make the move when he was young and while embracing his Judaism, rather than later on when it may have been in spite of his Jewishness. Sgt. Benjamin Anthony also discussed his experiences in the army and the importance of defending the Jewish state, both on the front lines and from abroad.
Often, Americans supporters of Israel feel discouraged on college campuses, but Anthony reiterated the importance such advocacy. His strong attitude toward defending Israel gave many students the confidence to go forward in their pro-Israel efforts.
Anthony went on to point out that fellow Binghamton students may turn out to be future politicians or individuals forced to make critical decisions regarding Israel. The work that BUZO does to support Israel and demonstrate the country’s importance to the US will impact these potential leaders, and leave a lasting impression. Therefore, it is crucial that Israel advocates continue educating their peers with truth, history, and an unbiased facts when it comes to the Jewish state.