Friday, May 31, 2013

A Passage to Israel

Tomorrow afternoon, about a dozen foreign and defense policy wonks and I will begin a one week trip to Israel, courtesy of the American Israel Education Foundation.  During the trip, my compatriots and I will spend each day in meetings and briefs designed to baseline us on what the current security issues are there on the ground.  We'll meet with political types, foreign policy types, press, and defense experts.  We'll meet with Palestinian representatives. We'll meet with entrepreneurs.

I've been to Israel several times before, courtesy of the U.S. Navy.  I do very much enjoy it there.  And as readers know, I'm a vocal proponent of a strong U.S./Israel partnership based on mutual interests and obligations. 

The folks at AIEF asked me to do this trip last year, but I had to decline due to a work conflict.  When they called again this year, my work schedule was clear--but there was a huge personal conflict.  Kitten #1 is graduating from 8th Grade during the trip.  I spoke with the Kitten about the trip, and she remembered that I had to turn the trip down last year.  With her blessing (and Kitten #1), I got my travel pass.  Very mixed emotions about this, made even moreso by the announcement this week that Kitten #1 will be one of two featured graduation speakers :( 

I inquired from the AIEF people whether a bloglog of this trip would be acceptable with them, not wanting to bite the hand that feeds me, so to speak. Aside from some common sense privacy and security considerations, I got the green light--so look for a series of posts in the week to come. 

For those interested, I will travel betracksuited.

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