Both U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu and California Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian visited the UCLA campus Thursday night to speak with students about their experiences with, and support of, Israel. The Bruins Leadership Dinner is an annual event hosted by the UCLA student organization Bruins for Israel, which invited the special guests.
Lieu, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, described his commitment to maintaining and strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship, and recalled his first visit to Israel, where he marveled at a wedding taking place in an area where hostilities always simmer just beneath the surface.
He noted that there has been a change in climate since then, something he observed during his more recent trip as a member of a Congressional delegation. He also talked about his determination to fight anti-Semitism in the U.S., criticizing the current Administration for not speaking out immediately after recent anti-Semitic incidents.
Nazarian, a UCLA alumnus representing the San Fernando Valley, is a member of the Legislative Jewish Caucus. He spoke of personal ties to Israel and the tolerance shown to him that helped cement his early support for issues important to the Jewish community.
The well-attended event finished with an interview of Yaki Lopez, Consul for Political Affairs at the Consulate General of Israel. Lopez previously served as Deputy Ambassador to Nairobi, Kenya where he spearheaded an unprecedented trilateral initiative between Israel, Germany and Kenya aimed at improving the livelihoods of Kenyans by solving issues of hunger and food security.