I just received a press release (partial release below) that 84 Members of Congress are taking a free trip next week to Israel.
Please tell me this is not so: that while we are in crisis, 84 Members of Congress are getting an all expense paid trip to Israel instead of returning to DC to work on our economic crisis (or even review the March GAO report which outlines billions of dollars of waste that they are ignoring but you are paying????) How could they?
Don’t get me wrong. I support Israel. We need to protect and help Israel but sending a party of 84 Members of Congress on a free junket is not going to provoke peace in the Middle East. Israel is our ally and Israelis have serious security risks but high level security discussions are conducted with limited government officials – including our House and Senate Intell committees – who have high security clearances and not with 84 Members of Congress on a free trip.
I recently interviewed ON THE RECORD at 10pm Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak in which we discussed at length the serious problems that Israel faces every hour. I don’t doubt the seriousness – I do question what 84 Members of Congress on a junket are going to do to help them.
Meanwhile, WE in the USA are in crisis right now (15 million Americans are looking for work to put food on the table and 45 million are on food stamps.) Do we really need to have 84 Members of Congress leave the USA instead of returning to DC to work?
How about we just send 4 Members to Israel? (2 R’s, and 2 D’s) The 4 can meet with Israeli officials, and get information and return and brief the 80 who didn’t go. Chances are they would get more information than if you crammed 84 + people in one room with Israeli officials.
And what should the 80 do who would not go to Israel on this free junket ? The 80 should return to DC now and put their nose to the grindstone and help get us out of our economic hell. Just a return to Washington would be an important message to the American people that they care! We at least need that!
Here is the partial press release on the junket:
“…The trip is being arranged by the American Israel Educational Foundation (AIEF), a charity affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). AIEF Israel seminars are considered among the most substantive, rigorous, and valuable opportunities for members of Congress to learn about the U.S.-Israel relationship. No tax dollars will be used to pay for the trip, as it is paid for by AIEF, which is privately funded by donations from American citizens. AEIF is hosting three week-long congressional trips in August, bringing a total of 84 House members to Israel this month…