During the AIPAC Policy Conference, I had a multitude of positive educational experiences. For the entire conference I was mesmerized and fascinated by the in-depth knowledge shown by speakers at both general sessions and at more personalized sessions throughout the conference. The main lesson I learned was the symbiotic nature of the relationship between Israel and the United States. Before attending the Policy Conference I had thought that the U.S. supplied Israel with military funding because of goodwill and pressure from the AIPAC community. However, I learned that things are very different. The Start-Up Nation produces ingenious software and machinery that do things that many Americans couldn’t even dream of. Whether creating water from thin air or aiding in the creation of the most militaristically advanced piece of machinery that the world has ever seen, Israel creates novel technologies through a combination of intelligence, a strong work ethic, and sheer determination.
Furthermore, the Israeli nation doesn’t keep its inventions to itself to be the sole reaper of their benefits. The people of the nation share their technologies with anyone who needs them, regardless of gender, race or nationality. Their contribution to the American economy has also been enormous. Because many of their products are produced in the United States, Israel creates thousands of manufacturing jobs where there would be none. Finally, I experienced a sense of camaraderie previously unknown to me. There were moments when I was simply shocked by the sheer amounts of Jews around me. As a member of a minority religion, it was a simply profound experience to be surrounded by like-minded people with similar beliefs. I walked away from the AIPAC Policy Conference with an increased pride in my religion and in the strength of the Israeli state.