Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


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. Stay tuned.

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

I’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.

The 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

This post was originally published on TC Jewfolk. Follow TCJewfolk on Twitter: @tcjewfolk.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Jim Roth on 08/23/2011 - 03:02 pm.

    What does Erik Paulsen know about Israel? This looks pretty superficial to me. Not sure it’s newsworthy.

  2. Submitted by Mahmoud El-Yousseph on 08/23/2011 - 03:07 pm.

    Dear Rep. Paulsen,

    I feel compelled to respond to your first brainwashing briefing you have received on your AIPAC sponsored trip to Israel. Fof the sake of truth and accuracy, I thought you and your constituents would be interested in reading this on the subject, especially regarding the Israeli War on Lebanon- Summer of 2006. I have written this piece on the subject. Here it goes in part.

    “Israel’s main objectives were: wipe out Hizbullah, Kill the General Secretary of Hizbullah, Shaikh Hassan Nassrullah and to secure the release of two captured Israeli soldiers. None of these objectives was met. The only thing Israel was able to accomplish was to turn Beirut into Stalingrad during WWII and the south of Lebanon into Hiroshima.

    For the first time in nearly 60 years and after five wars, Israel did suffer a humiliating defeat. The casualty ratio of previous Israeli wars used to be 20 dead Arabs for each Israeli soldier killed.

    Let’s examine the the outcome of this war closely. Israel admitted it lost 119 soldiers with 750 injured. Israel’s civilian casualties were 39 killed and several hundred injured. Meanwhile Hizbullah lost 71 of its fighters in battles. Lebanese civilian casualties were 1,077 dead, a clear indication as to which side was targeting civilians.

    It is absolute poppycock for Israel to claim that Iranians were fighting along Hizbullah in Lebanon and the group’s leader was hiding at the Iranian embassy in Beirut. The truth is, Israel, who bombed and killed U.N . observers in Lebanon would not hesitate to drop a nuke on the Iranian embassy had it known for sure that Shaikh Nassrullah was there. The only outsiders involved in the war were people like 22 year-old Micheal Levin of Philideliphia who was killed in Lebanon. Instead of joining the U.S. armed forces, he joined the (Israeli occupation forces (IOF), referred by Israelis as IDF).

    There are at least 50,000 Jewish-Americans like Micheal Levin in the IOF. The exact number is highly guarded. Many joined after the 9/11 attacks. Serving in the armed forces of another country is grounds for revocation of U.S. citizenship. It says so on your passport.

    One million Israelis spent 33 days in bomb shelter, while one million Lebanese were turned into refugees, forced to flee their homes or face death. And to Israel’s surprise and disappointment, the rest of Lebanon (Christians, Druze and Muslims) opened their homes and hearts to the displaced villagers.

    Israeli soldiers left Lebanon in disgrace. They were seen weeping, carrying their injured comrades, dragging their damaged tanks and bulldozers.

    Meanwhile Arabs and Muslims from Morocco to Malaysia felt pride for the first time in 60 years because of Hizbullah’s victory over Israel. For those who have doubts, here is what Israeli officIals have to say:

    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said, “I made a mistake and I’ll take the responsibility.” Israel’s Foreign Minister stated, “no country in the world can take Hezbollah.” Ravit Ben-Simon, a 25 year-old Israeli woman of Kiryat Shimona put it simply, “Israel lost big-time.”

    Israel’s Prime Minister’s approval rating took a nose dive from 78% prior to the invasion to 40% at the start of the war.

    Hizbullah’s popularity has skyrocketed throughout Lebanon and the rest of the Arab and Muslim world. 87% of 17 different religious denominations in Lebanon supported Hizbullah in its fight against Israel compared to 39 % prior to the war. In Alexandria, Egypt alone, hospitals declared that 178 newborn boys were named Nassrullah.

    Hassan Nassrullah’s popularity is understandable. His own son, Hadi, was killed in Lebanon fighting the Israeli Army in 1978. Another son, Jawad is now a member of Hizbullah. Contrast that with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who sent his two sons to the United States in order to avoid mandatory military service. His own daughter, Dr. Dana Olmert, is a strong critic of her father’s policies towards the Palestinians and Lebanon.

    Israel now has learned that actions, especially reckless ventures have ramifications. As a result, Venezuala kicked out the Israeli ambassador in protest and the government of Costa Rica will move its embassy in Israel from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

    Israel gambled and lost this time. In terms of lives, equipment and not least of all, in the court of world opinion, Israel proved that might doesn’t always make right.”

    Stay Safe!
    Thanks for your time
    Retired USAF Veteran

  3. Submitted by C.S. Senne on 08/23/2011 - 04:17 pm.

    Gee, a vacation in Israel certainly makes a town meeting to discuss U.S.economic issues impossible! What a great idea…

  4. Submitted by C.S. Senne on 08/23/2011 - 04:21 pm.

    Some intern must have written this: “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.” Reigned 8,000 rockets?? Spellcheck much? The tone of the entire piece might best be described as sophomoric.

  5. Submitted by James Hamilton on 08/23/2011 - 07:18 pm.

    All I want to know is, “Who paid for the trip?”

  6. Submitted by Douglas Most on 08/23/2011 - 08:28 pm.

    AIPAC is Israel’s corrupt monster controlling our Senators like Israeli slaves. Wake up America and kick out these parasites from our country. They are traitors who brought down the World Trade Centers. google FBI file on 5 Dancing Israelis.

Leave a Reply