(Centennial Student Intern) The past few days, with CCU sophomore Drew Goorabian, I have had the distinct pleasure of making a brief pre–Christmas stop in the frozen swamp that is Washington D.C. in the winter. AIPAC or the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee has been both our motivation and gracious host for this trip bringing Drew and me to D.C. to attend the biannual Saban Leadership Seminar.
It is quite noteworthy to understand the prevalence of AIPAC as one of America’s most influential political lobbies. AIPAC is better known as “America’s Pro–Israel Lobby” and one of the top five most powerful lobbies in the country ranking alongside the AARP and NRA in lobbing effectiveness, all quite a feat in consideration of their smaller size and lesser funding. It is events like the Saban Leadership Seminar that have boosted AIPAC into their top 5 position. The impact is twofold: first, Saban reaches out to educate and empower over 400 of the top students from a mass of colleges across the country, and second, those same students then go out and educate and impact the rest of the country.
Over the past three days, we’ve sat through a myriad of sessions with subjects ranging from international affairs briefings to the etiquette and best practices of lobbying one’s representative. The point being to educate and motivate the next generation of Americans on how to be proactive citizens geared towards making a positive impact on the world.
Below: Lenell, right, and Goorabian paid a call at the White House on Sunday, but Obama refused to see them