This is a guest post by Representative Erik Paulsen (MN-03). He is in Israel this week with AIPAC and will be blogging regularly and exclusively for TC Jewfolk during his trip. Miss yesterday’s post? Read it here.
From the Desk of Rep. Erik Paulsen (MN:03):
Began the morning meeting with the opposition leader of parliament from the Kadima party, Avi Dichter. Avi is the former head of our FBI equivalent and gave an in depth briefing on a variety of security issues and the peace process.
I found this particularly interesting not for the subject matter, but because as the leader of the opposition party I expected he would really spend his time with us discussing his party’s policy differences with the ruling party. The fact that he used his time to share a united vision with the majority party really does demonstrate that Israelis are pretty unified on safety and security issues. Rockets were fired on his hometown early this morning.
Next I had a chance to meet with the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister, Salem Fayed. He presented a pretty clear understanding that it is impossible to obtain a Palestinian state without Israel being part of that process. With a potential UN vote on this issue in September that would bypass direct negotiations with Israel it will be interesting to see how strong his influence is.
Made our way to the Lebanon border, and looked into the hills where 50,000 rockets are now cached by Hezbollah, a terrorist organization, and pose a significant threat to peace along the border. An IDF officer provided an overview of the challenges they face in minimizing periodic border skirmishes.
Arrived at the hotel and had a late dinner. The fun event for the day – a midnight swim in the Sea of Galilee!
Member of Congress
(Photo: Maps of Travel)