Rep. Paulsen Goes to Israel: Day Six

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 Erik Paulsen:
I’ve spent time traveling along Israel’s borders, especially in the north where they are not internationally recognized, and have UN supervision. Here’s a photo of me along the Lebanon border, at Misgav Am with hilly terrain. An IDF officer gave a briefing on how even cutting down a tree along the border can cause an international incident.
Also went to the Golan Heights and looked out over Syria, which has generally been a peaceful border since 1970’s. After an awesome lunch at a kibbutz I made the longer drive along the Jordan River back to Jerusalem paralleling the Jordanian border.
To show peace is possible, here’s a story I thought you’d be interested in. After a 1994 agreement on border issues between Israel and Jordan, there were areas of land where Israelis would manage crops on the Jordanian side, and Israelis would also cross the fence to snap a photo on the Jordanian side of the border.
In 1997, a class of elementary school children came from Jerusalem and crossed at the border to take a photo, and a Jordanian soldier fired a machine gun killing 7 of them. Jordan King Hussein personally and very publicly went to each of the victim’s families and asked for forgiveness — showing how strong leadership can make progress for peace.
Here’s another interesting Minnesota connection with Israel related to the fact that water is essentially the most important resource in the MidEast. Along the Israeli Mediterranean coast is the city of Hadera, which has the largest seawater reverse osmosis plant in the world.
All of the modules for this plant were manufactured at the Dow Filmtec plant in Edina. I’ve twice toured this plant where they employ 720 people. In fact, I just spoke to some of their employees a week ago! They are also participating as a supplier for another reverse osmosis plant which will be even larger after it goes into operation next year. These new water resources are enabling the government to take less water from the Sea of Galilee.
Shabbat shalom and Shavua Tov,
Erik Paulsen
Member of congress