Five U.S. congressmen venture on a fact-finding mission to Israel
A bipartisan group of five U.S. congressmen spent the last week touring Israel, despite the daily terrorist attacks and deteriorating security situation. Rep. Alan Lowenthal D-CA, Rep. Jim Jordan R-OH, Rep. Scott Garrett R-NJ, Rep. Raoul Labrador R-ID and Rep. Mark Meadows R-NC traveled across the country to learn the facts behind the headlines and pledge their support to the Jewish state in these challenging times. The educational trip was sponsored by Proclaiming Justice to the Nations and hosted by Yes! Israel.
Highlights of the jam-packed schedule included briefings with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yaalom, a strategic helicopter tour with the Israeli Air Force, a visit to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, meetings with Israelis and Palestinians in Gush Etzion to discuss co-existence, a visit to the war- torn city of Sderot, as well as tours of ancient Shiloh, Ariel University and high-level briefings at the Israeli Knesset with a range of Israeli lawmakers. The congressmen also spent time connecting with ex-pats along the way, especially at a Town Hall meeting in Jerusalem that attracted around 200 Israeli-Americans.
During the town hall meeting last night, which was held at the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel, the congressmen expressed their impressions from their trip:
Rep. Alan Lowenthal declared, “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 commented, “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 stated, “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 explained, “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 US based Christian organization 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 Holy Land, there is always more to learn.”
Ruth Lieberman, president of Yes! Israel Mission commented: “Our friendships are strong. Our values are shared. We use these trips to strengthen resolve and educate, to deepen relationships and work together for Israel. This mission, of course, was affected by current events - from the morning they touched down - but we stuck to our schedule and the congressmen were powerfully moved by the difference between what the media says how it really is on the ground. They also pushed back against State Department criticism this week, ridiculously accusing Israel of using ‘excessive force’ in fighting this wave of terror.”
Lieberman added: “The Yes! Israel Mission is bipartisan, pushing to support Israel unequivocably, and our friend Alan Lowenthal agreed: ‘It was a very powerful experience. I saw things I never knew. I will always stand up loudly in support of Israel.”
Lieberman went on to stress: “The prime minister continues to encourage our Yes! Israel missions with PJTN, to see the land and meet the people. We are proud to work with the leaders of Israel and in Congress on behalf of a stronger relationship.”
The mission of Proclaiming Justice to The Nations is to educate Christians about their biblical responsibility to stand with our Jewish brethren and Israel against the rise of global genocidal anti-Semitism. Whether it is in the halls of the United Nations, the U.S. Congress, our state legislatures, or our local school boards, PJTN is committed to reminding Christians to stand against this growing threat.