Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Thanked My Congressman. Have You?

I'm a big, big AIPAC supporter. Even before I moved to Israel, I got involved in AIPAC, attending the policy conference in Washington, local event in Michigan, and even bringing in AIPAC representatives to our shul for a small event. I really came to the conclusion that one of the best ways American Jews can support the Jewish State is by getting involved in the legislative process. Simply put, United State's support for Israel provides crucial backing to the Jewish State, both in financial terms, but also in the international community. Putting our energy into ensuring that the US government continues to support Israel is a great investment of time and energy.
This week, seventy five percent of the US House of representatives signed a letter encouraging the US to stand behind Israel's right to self-defense. Without a doubt, the UN is eventually going to get around to criticizing Israel for its commandos acts of self-defense on the "Peace Flotilla" ship. The letter from Congress to President Obama demonstrates the strong support that Israel has across the country, and how important it is for the US to stand behind Israel's right to self-defense.
My congressman, Rep. Sander Levin, signed the letter. I know, because I checked. And I also don't believe that because he's Jewish, we should take it for granted that he's going to sign these types of letters, and make Israel a priority. So I called to thank him. No, I didn't speak to him - but I did leave him a message.
It was pretty easy. I looked up the phone number in Washington on his web site, and asked for the name of the legislative assistant for foreign affairs. Turns out that her name is Erin Hughes. I asked to speak to Erin, and explained to her that I'm a constituent of the Congressman living in Israel (which surprised her) and that I wanted to thank him for signing the letter. She clearly appreciated the call, and told me that she'd convey the message.
That was it. Not a big deal. Took about five minutes. But it is a big deal, especially if enough people do it.
I thanked my Congressman. Have you?