For a number of years now, pro-Israel and anti-Israel student groups have been competing for public support on this campus. They organize events, bring speakers, show movies and stand around the Arbor in the hopes of getting us to care one way or the other. I was drawn to American Students for Israel because I have relatives living in Israel, but most people do not have that kind of personal connection. It is completely understandable that without any personal ties to such a faraway place, most people would have a hard time finding a reason to care. But whether you realize it or not, chances are that Israel has changed your life and the lives of those around you.

Think about some of the tools and programs that you use every day — laptops, cell phones and text messaging. The fact is that Israel fully developed or made a significant contribution to these and countless other technologies. Israeli researchers not only create consumer products, but sophisticated medical equipment, cures for diseases and alternative energy solutions. A notable example from just a few months ago is the first ever HIV treatment to actually kill infected cells, which is a potential stepping stone to a cure for AIDS Israel more than repays our foreign aid with innovations that improve our daily lives and move humanity forward. Simply for the sake of Western progress, all of us should want to ensure Israel’s continued existence and prosperity.

One should not ignore Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians nor ignore Israel’s flaws. There are many serious issues in the region which need to be solved quickly. But at the end of the day, it is important to recognize all the good that Israel does for the world and countless individuals personally. It is for these reasons that Israel deserves our continued support.