Interview: A New Form of Israel Advocacy
After resigning in 2010 from his position as Eastern Regional Coordinator for Christians United for Israel, one of the largest pro-Israel student organizations in America, Andrew Summey was petitioned to join the team of United for Israel in the fall of 2011. A confessed believer in social media, Summey helped United with Israel, a pro-active pro-Israel social group, form over 1 million followers on the social media giant Facebook.
And yet, the buck didn’t stop there.
It soon became apparent that college students and young adults were increasingly interested in becoming active and taking leadership roles in initiating and developing numerous pro-Israel projects – if only someone could bring them together.
In an exclusive interview with the Algemeiner yesterday, Summey revealed his mantra, which challenges traditional thinking. “The youth are not the leaders of tomorrow,” he claimed, “they are the leaders of today.”
“Students and young people, through the various channels of social media, have the ability and the connectivity to be the global leaders right now.”
And so, ISRAELIZE was born – or hatched as their website puts it.
The new initiative, a sister project of United with Israel, aims at pooling together like-minded students with ideas, criticisms, and hopes for improving, and sometimes educating, the global view on Israel. In other words, creating a tribal culture of young pro-Israel activists committed to turning ideas into reality.
“It’s power to people,” Summey says, declaring the need to “flip” traditional structure upside down. “Any average person has the ability to change the world in a very real way. It’s all about connecting to like-minded people, it’s all about creating a tribe.”
“We [the ISRAELIZE team] are more of a conductor, just to guide, while the group forms its own leadership.”
With its lifespan only 2 weeks old, the tribe has already reached over 1300 followers, and at the time of publishing today, had 2,100 people talking about it.
However, the future isn’t all rosy. Keeping in pace with the latest technology for the group’s user interfaces, and the financial burden in doing so, are the biggest obstacles facing the group according to team leader Summey. But he displays optimism, revealing the amount of feedback and constructive criticism from determined students has been staggering.
Now all we have to do he says, is, “realize, globalize, and mobilize.”