Another in my ongoing posts from Israel:

We previously covered the failed Palestinian attempt to get a French court to stop the Jerusalem light rail project which was being constructed in part by French contractors.  It’s a part of the continuing lawfare against Israel.

Commenter Vince suggested that I check out the light rail project, and bemoaned the fact that he had not yet been on it:

If you get a chance when you’re in Jerusalem take a ride on their light rail system.  It’s a relatively modern overhead line system with 23 stops that runs approximately 14 km long. I have all of the stops geocoded if you would like that? I’m a bit of a light rail buff.. my goal is to ride all of them!  Haven’t made it to Israel yet :(

I can’t make your wish come true, Vince, so here’s the best I can do:

Jerusalem Light Rail

(Jerusalem Light Rail)

I also had the pleasure of meeting the famous Carl in Jerusalem, of Israel Matzav, with whom my wife and I shared a (soft) drink around noon today:

William A. Jacobson and Carl in Jerusalem

(Me and Carl in Jerusalem, in Jerusalem)

In the evening we attended a visual history of Jerusalem projected onto the walls of the area below the Tower of David in the Old City.  I don’t have photos of the light show (but some are here), as photography was not permitted, but here is the Tower of David and the area below:

Tower of David - Jerusalem

(Tower of David – Jerusalem)

(Tower of David outer walls - Jerusalem)

(Tower of David outer walls – Jerusalem)

I also had an interesting conversation about how the Tea Party is perceived in Israel with someone in Israeli government many of you would recognize (but who has to remain anonymous by agreement).  I described LI’s readership as “conservative/Tea Party, mostly non-Jewish, very pro-Israel.”

The concern expressed by this person was that the Tea Party movement represented an isolationist movement bent on retrenching from engagement in the world. The person commented that American withdrawal leaves a vacuum that will be filled by Iran, Hezbollah, and other bad actors.

I explained my view that such a perception confuses and conflates the Ron Paul approach with the Tea Party movement. The Tea Party movement, I explained, was not isolationist, it simply was not a movement focused on foreign policy — which is a big difference from an active desire to withdraw from the world.

I further explained that there was no better friend of Israel than Tea Party supporters, and that the goal of limited government does not translate as easily into foreign affairs. It’s not so much that the Tea Party movement is against foreign assistance, it’s that we’re against foreign assistance to people who don’t like us and are not our friends.  By analogy, seeking to curtail wasteful spending, pork projects and the entitlement state does not mean we support no government.

The person acknowledged that the perception of the Tea Party movement in Israel may be a result of how some people want the Tea Party to be perceived, and pointed to Ted Cruz’s visit to Israel and strong support of Israel as an example of the point I was trying to make.

Sound accurate to you?

This didn’t really surprise me.  If a foreign official relies on American mainstream media for news about American politics, that foreign official will receive a biased and inaccurate portrayal of the Tea Party movement.

If I changed the perception of one person in a position of influence, it was worth the trip.

Prior posts from my ongoing trip to Israel:


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