Earlier this month I had the honor of being a member of the Young GOP Leaders for Israel group visiting Israel to learn about the nation and discover more about how everyday Americans can become advocates to strengthen the bond between Israel and the U.S.
I found the trip deeply meaningful in political, spiritual and historical ways as my group was led by Likud party members, visited the old city and saw so many historical sites that have political and historic meaning to the nation of Israel.
During the ten days I spent in, I witnessed the excitement leading up to the announcement that the U.S. will move its embassy to Jerusalem. Israelis I spoke with certainly wished President Trump would recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capitol of Israel, but the outrage of the Muslim occupied Israel would have been significant.
I learned so much about the Jewish culture, the state of Israel, and the turmoil of the Middle East that impacts citizens lives every day. In Israel, terror is a horror citizens experience all the time– from rabbis stabbed in the streets, to trucks that tear through a crowd killing half a dozen people. How often is it we’re faced with seemingly random religiously-motivated acts of terror in the U.S.?
The culture respects religion like no other I’ve ever seen and for me that is inspiring. Israelis by and large also accept the idea that politics and faith can and do work parallel, after all, for many people around the world, religion and ideology are intertwined because religion impact ideologies in many instances.
For me, the visit to Israel was life-changing. Everyday citizens are so passionate about their culture and the state of Israel– they’ve been willing to sacrifice and even die, to reclaim the traditional homeland of the Jewish people and freedoms for their children.
In a war-torn, poverty stricken region, Israel is with us, as an ally, but much more. I now value my freedom so much more after seeing how liberty and security are fought for in Israel.
I’m looking forward to sharing more about what I learned and experienced while in Israel. Stay tuned.
(cross-posted on my political blog: politicalfireball.com)