US Congressional candidate Bruce Blakeman, on a solidarity trip to Israel this week, toured the South and met with lawmakers, government ministers and activists.
American Congressional candidate Bruce Blakeman, a Republican running in New York’s fourth Congressional District and an avid supporter of the Jewish state, met this week with Israeli parliamentarians and government ministers regarding the future of both Israel and the US, which he believes are “intertwined.”
He was also received by Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Baruch Lau and Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef.
Blakeman was visiting together with Dr. Joe Frager, a prominent medical specialist based in New York and a leading activist for Israel.
“Just as I save lives every day by discovering pre-cancerous polyps, I work daily on the health and preservation of the Jewish state,” Frager had told the New York Daily News in an interview in May.
Blakeman plays a major role fighting the movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the Jewish state. He has assisted celebrities, including famous musician and former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, to resist coercion by BDS activists.
Among those in attendance at a Wednesday evening dinner for Blakeman and Frager in Jerusalem were Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Dov Kalmanovich, who presented the American politician with a golden pin showing the flag of Jerusalem, and Rabbi David Stav, head of the Tzohar religious Zionist organization.
Trusted Friends in American Diaspora
Israel should “never take for granted that we have good, dear and real trusted friends in the American Diaspora,” Rabbi Stav said at the meeting, noting Dr. Frager’s activism and dedication, “despite his position as a top surgeon,” Israel National News (INN) reported.
“Turning to the relationship between Israeli and American Jewry, Stav said Israelis had been ‘exposed to something very unique and important’ as a result of Operation Protective Edge: the phenomenon of lone soldiers – in this context referring to the many American Jews who left their families in the US to fight in the IDF,” INN said.
Several American lone soldiers served on the front lines during the war in Gaza, including Max Steinberg and Sean Carmeli, who were killed in battle.
David Zeit, executive director of United with Israel, was present at the dinner.
“The politicians and advocates in attendance expressed their views on the importance of the relationship between the United States and Israel, the current war on terror and how it affects the entire world, not just Israel,” he said.
Israel is Free World’s First Line of Defense
Indeed, Yoram Ettinger, a former ambassador to the US, reminded Blakeman that Israel “is [also] fighting American’s battle against Islamists,” INN said.
Israel, in fact, is “the first, and possibly the last” outpost of defense for the West against the spread of radical Islam, Religious Affairs Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan added.
“Israel is the first line of defense. If that domino falls, Europe will fall, and if Europe falls – who will stand with America?” Blakeman stated, according to INN.
Only Israel Should Decide its Future
“Israel should decide Israel’s future. No country, including America, should tell Israel how to make peace. That’s up to Israel – not Europe or America, but Israel,” he declared.
Earlier, Blakeman visited the South. “Israel is on the front line on the war on global terrorism. Next could be America if not stopped here,” he commented on his Facebook page, standing in front of a house that was destroyed by Hamas rockets.
“Luckily the family had a safe room in the house or they would all be dead. Not everyone has a safe room,” he added.
On Monday, Blakeman spent the day in Samaria (Shomron), where he “learned a lot,” having been briefed by Deputy Speaker of the Knesset MK Yoni Chetboun, Shomron Council leaders, the chancellor of Ariel University, an IDF Brigade leader, as well as local farmers and business owners.
On Tuesday, he met with several Israeli politicians and had “very interesting and inciteful talks…about the dangers facing both America and Israel.”
Jerusalem: Most Spiritual, Wonderful City in the World
Blakeman, who praised Jerusalem as the “most spiritual, wonderful city in the world,” proposed to his fiancée in the Holy City during the trip.
“Blakeman popped the question to attorney Segal Magori Monday in Israel at Gabriela, a kosher Italian restaurant, in front of 30 guests,” the New York Post reported.
Magori’s mother and close friends live in Israel.
Author: Atara Beck
Senior Writer/Editor, United with Israel