Friday, February 17, 2012

February Is America-Israel Friendship Month

February is
America-Israel Friendship Month 

February 15, 2012
Zachary Scheinerman
Tel: 301-565-3918

CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND - This month is America-Israel Friendship Month according to the new Israel Calendar ( February is an opportunity for Jewish communities and campus organizations to focus on the special relationship between the United States and Israel and educate the public about the longstanding ties between the two allies.

"The U.S.-Israel relationship is based on the twin pillars of shared values and shared interests," said AICE Executive Director Mitchell Bard. "Given this commonality of interests and beliefs, it should not be surprising that support for Israel is one of the most pronounced and consistent foreign policy values of the American people."

Some of the suggested programming ideas contained within the calendar are to discuss joint state, local and federal projects, statements by American presidents about the importance of ties with Israel and the cooperative research between American and Israeli university researchers in science and agriculture that benefit America.

Economic cooperation is another area to highlight. More than 10,000 U.S. companies do business in or with Israel, including all the high-tech giants, and trade between the two countries exceeds $30 billion. Twenty-three U.S. states have separate memoranda of understanding for cooperation with Israel in areas such as trade, tourism and agriculture.

This is also an opportunity to focus on connections between American universities and their Israeli counterparts. For example, more than 400 American institutions in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have received funds from binational programs for cooperative research with Israel. Many schools also have study abroad and joint degree programs in Israel.

The Israel Calendar highlights a different aspect of Israeli history, politics or culture each month. The calendar is designed to provide the pro-Israel community with a clear area of focus to structure Israel activism on college campuses and in Jewish communities. "One goal is to create opportunities for cooperation and collaboration across campuses, communities and countries," said Dr. Bard. "We want to encourage everyone to talk about the friendship between the United States and Israel this month to help people better understand why our two democracies have had such a long and mutually beneficial relationship."

Look for next month's theme - Israel Women's History Month.

The Israel Calendar is a project of the AMERICAN-ISRAELI COOPERATIVE ENTERPRISE (AICE), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization established in 1993.
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