A bipartisan group of five US congressmen spent the last week touring Israel, despite the daily terrorist attacks. Representatives Alan Lowenthal D-CA, Jim Jordan R-OH, Scott Garrett R-NJ, Raoul Labrador R-ID and Mark Meadows R-NC traveled across the country to learn the facts behind the headlines—and to pledge their support for Israel. The fact finding mission was sponsored by Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, a US based Christian organization, and hosted by Yes! Israel.
The congressmen’s jam-packed schedule included briefings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, meetings with fellow legislatures at the Knesset, an IAF helicopter tour, a visit to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, a discussion of co-existence in meetings with Israelis and Palestinians in Gush Etzion, a visit to the city of Sderot whose civilian population is a frequent target for Hamas rockets, and tours of ancient Shiloh, and Ariel University.
The congressmen also spent time connecting with some 200 ex-pats, at a Sunday Town Hall meeting at the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel. The congressmen shared their impressions from their trip with their Israeli-American audience:
Rep. Alan Lowenthal: “Whether it is the distortion about the Temple Mount or settlements, the hatred goes way beyond that. This has been the historical denial of the Jewish people to have their own homeland. I think that the critical issue is the historic denial and refusal to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state… the Israelis have been attacked, lied to and abused. They are not the problem. And the American people are not hearing that message.”
Rep. Mark Meadows: “What was interesting to me was the amount of conflict and potential conflict that was being avoided (in Hebron) because we had IDF troops there going through and defending. What has become normal for many of you who live here is very abnormal for us. When you see people carrying weapons, travelling with security, you take it as everyday life. The IDF has shown great restraint.”
Rep. Scott Garett: “Each trip is an eye-opening and heart confirming experience, from a personal and religious point of view. We have a true love for Israel…Administrations come and go, but when it comes to the house that I serve, it has always been a strong bipartisan experience in support of Israel.”
Rep. Jim Jordan: “Every time we come here, there is always one consistent message: The best way the USA can help Israel is for America to stay strong. When America is strong, the world is safer and better. “
Laurie Cardoza-Moore, president of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, the that sponsored the trip, commented: “There is no better way to learn about Israel and the Jewish people than walking in the Land of Israel, meeting the people and understanding the threats faced by Israelis on a daily basis, no matter how many times one visits the Holyland, there is always more to learn.”