[Israel to US] Aviad Cohen: What American Democracy Means to an Israeli Citizen
Last June, I had the privilege of taking part in an ACYPL delegation to the United-States.
The visit more than fulfilled my expectations. I was inspired by my encounter with American democracy. I had expected to meet interesting people, but what I did not expect was to meet with such an impressive and deeply rooted democratic culture, a strong and across the board affiliation with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the overwhelming understanding of civil rights.
American democracy is a unique combination of different and competing values – freedom and equality. I found it extremely interesting to learn about the different ways by which each of the two political forces in the United States resolve this inherent conflict and translate it into a political agenda and concrete policy.
It was especially interesting to meet with representatives of various levels of government and learn about the different functions and responsibilities of the different levels. I especially found the meeting with the county commissioners in El Paso County, Colorado interesting. This is a level of government that we do not share in Israel and are not exposed to. I was also extremely impressed by the commitment of public representatives to public engagement in decision making processes.
I also found the diversity of opinions within our delegation to be conducive to the success of the program. This diversity provided many opportunities for meaningful interaction and debate among members of the delegation and contributed to the success of the trip.
The trip was especially amazing due to the excellent and outstanding hospitality, and especially with the amazing accompanying team, and especially with the delegation officer, Donna. Overall, the amazing commitment, the meticulous planning of every detail, and personal treatment rendered this delegation one of the most memorable experiences of my entire political career.
This delegation has inspired me to learn more about the American political system. I am certain that I will use this experience to promote better practices in Israeli politics, god bless America.