Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rep. Grijalva Spending Birthday In Israel

(UPDATE #2, 2/20, 11:00AM:  New post with more details of trip from Congressman's office. bit.ly/AZp470 .)

(UPDATE: Rep. Grijalva turns 65 today.)

Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-CD3) is spending his birthday - and the Congressional recess - in Israel, "learning more about our diplomatic relationship and the need for a better approach."

The announcement came not in the form of a news release, but in the form of an "it's my birthday" message on Facebook.  Grijalva is co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which has concentrated on national issues.  Similarly, Grijalva has not spoken out often on foreign policy issues.  Two examples of weighing in on the Israel-Palestinian tensions are when he co-sponsored a 2008 resolution condemning indiscriminate Palestinian rocket attacks into Israel and when he co-signed a letter in 2010 calling for Israel to halt its blockade of Gaza in response to rocket attacks.

Here is his Facebook post:

"Today's my birthday, and I'm in Israel learning more about our diplomatic relationship and the need for a better approach. It's a good trip and I'm meeting a lot of great people. Wish me good luck! I'll be back in a few days."

No word yet on who is sponsoring the trip, whether other Congresspeople are with him, who he is meeting with or where he is going, and other fun details.  We will update as available.

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Bruce Freiberg said...

Is he also visiting Palestine?? If not, why not?? Seems like more of the same one-sided approach that Congress has applied in favoring Israel for the last 50 years.

Mitch M. said...

Bruce, I immediately asked Grijalva's spokesman that question (and others). I would almost guarantee that he will go to the West Bank - and, probably Gaza - and will meet with several Palestinians leaders.

We do not yet know who is sponsoring his trip. (I would absolutely guarantee that some org did.) But, even trips sponsored by the American-Israeli group that sends many lawmakers and leaders now often include meeting(s) with Palestinian leaders. And, there is no way Grijalva would not do that.

Thanks for the question, but hold your conclusions 'til we get the answers. I'll update.

Bruce Freiberg said...

It may be true that he will visit Palestine, but even the headline of your article displays the truth of the control that the Israeli lobby (read that AIPAC) has over Congress and the media. Does your headline say "visiting Israel and Palestine"?? No, it emphasizes Israel - that Israel is the important consideration, and that Palestine is just an afterthought.

Mitch M. said...

Please, Bruce. You're stretching a bit far to make your point. My headline and post are based upon what I could gather from Grijalva's - hardly an AIPAC-bot - Facebook post. He ONLY says that "I'm in Israel".

As I said last night, hold your conclusions 'til you have enough info!