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Pawlentys leading four-day trade mission to Israel

Gov. Tim Pawlenty left Thursday on a four-day trade mission to Israel, where he hopes to solidify economic ties between that country and Minnesota.

First lady Mary Pawlenty and seven state officials are part of the 36-member trade delegation; the state will pay about $37,000 to cover the state employees.

Here are some highlights from the schedule released by the governor's office:

Saturday   
9 a.m. – Members of the Minnesota delegation will visit cultural sites in Jerusalem (no business can be conducted prior to sundown on the Sabbath).

Sunday
Tel Aviv: Gov. Pawlenty, the first lady and the Minnesota delegation receive a 7:45 a.m. presentation and briefing by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Gov. Pawlenty holds a 10 a.m. media availability prior to his participation in the Israel Business Conference. Governor Pawlenty speaks at 11 a.m. at the Israel Business Conference.

Hadera: At 10 a.m., the first lady visits Parents and Children Together, a unique partnership among the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the municipality of Hadera. The PACT program seeks to enable Ethiopian-Israeli preschoolers to enter Israel’s educational framework on equal footing with their Israeli peers, and supports their parents for success and full integration into Israeli society.

Other events are planned in Jerusalem and Old Jaffa.

Monday
Tel Aviv: Gov. Pawlenty meets at 8 a.m. with U.S. Ambassador to Israel James Cunningham.

Poriya: At 9 a.m., the first lady visits the Poriya Hospital, which has a student and faculty exchange program with the University of Minnesota.

Rehovot: Gov. Pawlenty and the Minnesota delegation visit the Weizmann Institute of Science at 9:30 a.m.

Kinneret Region: At 11 a.m., the first lady visits Kibbutz Degania Elementary School, which has a mutual learning program and exchange with Talmud Torah School in St. Paul.

Jerusalem: Gov. Pawlenty meets with the prime minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert.
Kibbutz Ginosar: At 2 p.m., the first lady visits the Yigal Allon Center, a museum featuring the history of the Galilee region. 

Tel Aviv: At 3 p.m., Gov. Pawlenty meets with leaders of Better Place, a company that will demonstrate use of an electric car prototype.

Herzliya Pituach: At 6: 45 p.m., the Pawlentys and the Minnesota delegation attend a networking reception at the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence.

Tuesday  
Travel day – no public events scheduled.

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Comments (2)

I wonder what the next step of the Pawlenty 2012 Presidential Campaign will be?

This seems like a surprisingly politically tone-deaf move for someone as smooth as Pawlenty. The state's in the middle of financial collapse, cities are talking about cutting police and fire staff, and T-Paw's and the first lady are out on a junket on the taxpayers' dime. The DFL could, and should, have a field day with this.

Fair trade:

I as one taxpayer would feel a bit more enthusiasm for this trip since I too,in a wee small way, am footing the bill...if the trade mission would consider this...if the Pawlentys and their band of 37 fellow followers and state officials would be willing to carry along a couple more packages, like desperately needed food and medical supplies for the Palestinians of Gaza now victims of the Israeli blockade.
Wouldn't that be the humanitarian thing to do and make the trip more worthwhile...two missions for one; trade and humanitarian aid?

"As in a mirror face to face, so is the heart of man to man."...fine words from the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber. Sometimes it's a good idea for governors and g-wives and trade officials to look in the mirror once in awhile to see what thsy look like when they negotiate trade with one, and ignore the 'other'? I'll even loan them a mirror or two; no strings attached.