Today, TC Jewfolk sat down with United States Representative Erik Paulsen, Republican from the 3rd District of Minnesota, to discuss America’s strong friendship with Israel, why Minnesotans should support Israel, and the impact that visiting Israel in August 2011 had on his perspective about the Israel’s people, politics, and geography.* [Watch the video interview below]
“Having a chance to visit Israel last August reinforced, I think, in my perspective what a lot of the Israeli people and Jewish people have to live with on a daily basis,” Representative Paulsen explained. “For instance, some of the terror that exists just right on their borders, in close proximity. That reinforced again why it is so important to support and defend one of our best friends and allies in the region.”
Representative Paulsen felt strongly that all Minnesotans, and any other Americans, for that reason, should recognize the value of the U.S.-Israel relationship, Israel’s historical struggle, and the plight of the Jewish people throughout history that is at the core of the need for a Jewish state. When asked why Minnesotans should support Israel, Representative Paulsen answered:
“I don’t think it matters if they are Minnesotans, or from Wisconsin, or from any state. I think there is a strong United States connection.
It goes back to just in history, with the United States recognizing Israel first as a country, being supportive of their development, providing you know through the United Nations Resolution, way back to give them the land, to have a Jewish state. And then, through World War II, all the terrible atrocities that were done to the Jewish people.
Having a chance myself to walk in East Berlin, and seeing the stepping stones, for instance, outside some of the apartments, is a reminder of people who had been taken from their homes, dragged to concentration camps. As a reminder now that we should never ever allow anything like that to happen again.
And so we have a Jewish population in Minnesota that pays more attention to this.
But Minnesotans, by and large because of our culture, I think, respect the need to remember that part of history and then promote, not only civil discourse, but the need to protect human rights by and large.”
Watch TC Jewfolk’s Interview with Congressman Paulsen Here:
[*Eds. Note: This article is Part II of our Interview with Congressman Paulsen. Part I can be found here, and focuses on Paulsen's views on the dangers of a nuclear Iran, the potential impact of sanctions, and bipartisan support for action on this issue.]
(Photo: J. Stephen Conn)