The Philadelphia Jewish Voice


News & Op/Ed
Bench Press
• Jingle Bombs
• He's a Gamer
• Taking Stock
• Making The Pilgrimage
• Dear Steven Spielberg
• Barbara Boxer 
• Ballots and Bullets
• Iraq & a Hard Place
• News Briefs
• Letters to the Editor

In Their Own Words
• Interview with Chaka Fattah

• Community Calendar

• Egal. Highland Park
• Shul aids Nat'l Guard

Media Watchpost
• Jewish World Review & Moment

Living Judaism
• A Community of Voices

The Kosher Table
• Chanukah

  About       Free Subscription       Donate       Contact Us        Links   border="0" />    Archives

News and Op/Ed

Making The Pilgrimage
PA Treasurer Robert P. Casey Jr. 
Top Democrats visit Israel.

number of the nation's top Democrats have been visiting Israel recently... Democratic leaders such as Pennsylvania State Treasurer Robert P. Casey Jr., DNC Chairman Gov. Howard Dean and Senator Hillary Clinton, among others. Democrats are speaking eloquently about what they learned while visiting Israel -- regarding Israel's security needs, the resilience of the Israeli people, and the ties that link Americans and Israelis.

Pennsylvania State Treasurer Robert P. Casey Jr.
Just last week, Robert P. Casey Jr. and his wife Terese returned from a trip to Israel sponsored by the National Jewish Democratic Council. While there, Mr. Casey visited such sites as the Kotel (pictured at left), Jerusalem's Old City, Yad Vashem, the Mevasseret Absorption Center, and Israel's security fence; and he met with top Israeli officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Knesset member Natan Sharansky (pictured at right).

On his return, Mr. Casey commented, "It was a moving experience to pray at the Kotel, and to learn so much about the triumphant story of the Jewish people as well as the challenges they face today as a democracy and a thriving diverse economy. And it was eye-opening to witness the country's critical security needs, and to discuss those needs with key Israeli leaders. Israelis have a right to live in peace and security, and America has an obligation to build on our close strategic partnership with Israel."

Mr. Casey was particularly moved by a quote from the book of Zachariah that was affixed to a plaque in the Jewish section of the Old City; the quote reads, "There shall be old men and old women dwelling in the streets of Jerusalem... and the streets of the city will be full of boys and girls." Mr. Casey commented, "This passage has been brought to life since Israel regained control of the Old City in 1967. It is our responsibility to help Israel ensure that the streets of Jerusalem will remain safe for young and old for generations to come."

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
Senator Hillary Clinton visits the Israeli Security Fence 

Two weeks ago, New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton returned from a trip to Israel as well; while there, Senator Clinton attended a memorial for Yitzhak Rabin and met with a wide array of top Israeli leaders. 

On her return, Senator Clinton wrote, "The priority of any government is to ensure the safety and security of its citizens, and that is why I have been a strong supporter of Israel's right to build a security barrier to keep terrorists out. I have taken the International Court of Justice to task for questioning Israel's right to build the fence, and on this trip, I wanted to see the fence with my own eyes. ... I stood on a hilltop in Gilo and received a detailed briefing from Col. Danny Tirza who oversees the Israeli government's strategy and construction of the security fence. 

"...I proceeded to a meeting with Prime Minister Sharon, where we discussed many of the same issues. During the meeting, we were reminded of the threats that Israel faces. An aide to the Prime Minister interrupted to inform him of a Qassam rocket attack on the town of Sderot, a community that lies near the Gaza strip. Sderot has been the site of many attacks over the years and the urgency of the situation made it even clearer to me how important it is for the U.S. and Israel to remain united against terror and for the Palestinian Authority to take immediate steps against the terrorists who attack Israel and threaten the transition of Palestinians to a better future."

Read Senator Clinton's complete trip report on her Senate web site.