Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Tommy Lapid and a correspondent from MTV News were on hand at a late night student reception hosted by Hillel at the AIPAC Policy Conference. The March 30-April 1 Conference brought 700 students from campuses across the country to Washington, DC, for the AIPAC Policy Conference. These students, along with 2500 other delegates, gathered to help affect Israel's future through sessions and workshops designed to prepare them as more effective pro-Israel activists.
On Sunday night, Hillel hosted a reception featuring an MTV news correspondent who covered the military build-up in Kuwait. Randall Kaplan, member of Hillel's International Board of Governors, and Lynn Schusterman, co-Chair of Hillel's International Board of Governors, greeted the students and stressed how important it is that they be involved in both Hillel and AIPAC.
The correspondent emphasized the importance of communicating with the student generation. He said that MTV has a critical role in sensitizing a "confused" student generation to the world around them. The correspondent urged the student activists to have dialogues with other groups and to forge personal connections.
Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Tommy Lapid went out of his way to speak at the Hillel student reception. Minister Lapid expressed his appreciation for all the students attending the conference and involved in Hillel. As a Holocaust survivor, he said he can appreciate that the people of his generation – the grandparents and parents of today's students – who witnessed the destruction of the Holocaust and the birth of the State of Israel are totally committed to supporting Israel. He also recognizes that those students involved in Israel advocacy are part of a small minority – and that Israel activists need to be concerned about uninvolved Jewish students: "If we lose touch with them, we lose touch with America."
"Israel needs friends and advocates to explain the need to fight terrorists, just as America is doing." Lapid stressed Israel wants peace, and is prepared to make compromises, give up territories, and dismantle settlements to have "real" peace – a peace in the hearts of both peoples.
Lapid concluded saying that he has lived in Israel for 55 years, waking up every morning and hearing some sort of news about Israeli-Arab conflict, and "there is nothing I want more than to have a peaceful day." He then thanked the students for all their efforts on campus in "supporting a country which genuinely, wholeheartedly and even fearfully wants peace."