Rep. Paulsen Goes to Israel: Day One

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. Don’t miss a post: find the whole series here.

From the desk of Rep.Erik Paulsen (MN-03):

4674700986 1b4639a397 300x199 Rep. Paulsen Goes to Israel: Day OneI’m excited to have arrived in Israel this afternoon. I will try and provide some updates and thoughts on my meetings periodically.

There’s lots happening here, as always. In fact, it was characterized to us on my bus ride to Jerusalem, these are not only interesting times (because they’re always interesting here), but these are also unusual times. Unusual because of the 8 months of the Arab Spring, which is seeing “the street” engaged in democratic decisions in these countries. A first for these countries that have been run by dictators.

Tonight I received a briefing on the Iron Dome System, which is Israel’s new mobile missile defense system begun after the 2006 Hezbollah rocket attacks from Lebanon that reigned 8,000 rockets into the civilian population.

Erik Paulsen 199x300 Rep. Paulsen Goes to Israel: Day OneThe first tests were just this last April and the interceptions were 100 percent effective. So the Iron Dome development is complete and with the rocket attacks launched from Gaza just in the last few days, there will be a renewed emphasis on using it. However there are only two Iron Dome defense batteries so far because of the cost. They said it’s been a three year development with minimal red tape.

Just before my arrival there was domestic protests that began over objections to the high cost of cottage cheese and housing. I understand that up to 250,000 people were protesting at once. But after the terrorist attacks a few days ago, this has been more subdued because everyone is focused more intently on self-protection.

It’s pretty warm and sunny in the 90′s too, which I guess is typical. Hope to have some time to see a little of the Old City too, but tomorrow will be consumed with meetings starting early. I’m looking forward to helping ensure the U.S./Israeli relationship remains strong.

Erik Paulsen
Member of Congress

(Photo: Emmanuel Dyan)

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13 comments

  1. I commend Paulsen for going to Israel. Riots because of high cost of COTTAGE CHEESE AND HOUSING. Talk bout reducing issues to the most basic. Does not give me confidence in his leadership. Wendy Gaskill

  2. I doubt anyone “reigned 8,000 rockets” anywhere, Erik. You should have someone more familiar with English write this stuff for you.

  3. Thank you to Rep. Paulsen for taking a strong interest in Israel and for taking the time to share his thoughts with us. It is nice to see such transparency as to what he is doing and observing during his trip.

  4. I must agree with Ralph. This is badly written.

  5. No government can serve two masters, and a government that serves Israel cannot serve the American people.

    A friend to Israel is no friend of America.

    America needs leaders who will put America first, second, and third. (M. Rivero)

  6. “I’m looking forward to helping ensure the U.S./Israeli relationship remains strong.”

    Sir,

    Can you define “relationship”? I know that the US taxpayers cover lots of Israeli military expenses. Let me ask you, what kind of benefit should an average US taxpayer expect in return? Simple question. You should know the answer.

    Thank you.

    Peter

  7. Maybe you should just stay there, along with all the other member of (U.S) Congress who are making the trip during the Summer recess. Remember who you work for. It is NOT the state of Isreal, it is the people of your district. If you do decide to stay, maybe we can elect someone who puts America 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

  8. So nice to see US representatives working so hard for Israel –a foreign country we give more 3 billion a year to–while the their Super Committee plans how much they can take from ordinary Americans.

    The US needs a revolution worse than the ME countries do.

  9. The United States provides foreign aid to Israel which then uses these funds to buy American military goods in order to defend itself from attack. What does America get out of it? Economic stimulus jobs, testing and improvement of weapons so that our soldiers can use better technology if we have to go to war, and the survival of the only democracy in the Middle East — a region marked by extremism and instability.

    I don’t share Rep. Paulsen’s politics, but I respect his interest in learning first hand about the Middle East and will not assume, without evidence, that he is misusing taxpayer funds or that he is unpatriotic.

  10. I agree with Paula. Frankly, the anti-Israel rhetoric and overly simplistic generalizations in some of these comments are very concerning. Do those who have criticized Congressman Paulsen believe that the U.S. should not provide aid to Israel? If so, why? Why would we, a Western democracy, choose to abandon the lone democracy in the Middle East? Israel is a thriving democracy in a very troubled area of the world. It has fought to survive repeatedly since its founding, and to this very day endures violent and mindless terrorism from radical extremists committed to its destruction. I am a Democrat, I love America, and I love Israel. Like many Americans, Jews and non-Jews, I am deeply committed to the survival of this small country that was founded in the wake of the Holocaust. Israel’s very existence inspires people all over the world. It is by no means perfect, and, I hope, will one day soon make peace with the Palestinians and its neighbors. But it is a critical ally and friend to the United States. If you do not believe that Israel has a right to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people, please say so. Otherwise, your criticisms of Rep. Paulsen for visiting and trying to understand our ally, and a central player in a critical part of the world, make no sense.

  11. Where is the news here?

    Another rep of the people being wined and dined by AIPAC to advance their policies.
    Keep sending more aid to Israel because we are under threat from all the hostile neighbors.
    The American people have been conned far too long.
    Cut off the aid, all of it.