US Rep. presidential candidate Michele Bachmann 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Jeff Haynes)
Around three dozen Americans and Israelis crowded into a conference room in Tel
Aviv on Wednesday, for a roundtable discussion of the Israeli branch of
America’s conservative Tea Party movement.
Bachmann wins Iowa Republican poll, Perry joins race
Christian lobbyists to bring Tea Party support for Israel
The participants, about half
of whom were US citizens, some of whom were in town for the Glenn Beck rallies
this week, sat around a table that included two plates of tea
Outside the room, there were a few posters of Atlas Shrugged
Ayn Rand with the word “shrugged” written at the bottom.
The meeting was
held by American activists from the organization FreedomWorks, as well as an
Israeli organization called the New Liberal Movement.
Wearing a black
t-shirt with the words “Kosher Tea” written on it, Wednesday, Brendan Steinhuser
– a native of Flatonia, Texas, and the director of federal and state campaigns
for FreedomWorks – said the meeting was part of “a great coming together of
things; you had the Glenn Beck rally here, and so we came to be here for that
and we brought volunteers from around the country for that and we found
interestingly enough that there is a group here that wants to start a Tea Party
“We were thrilled to see so many people there in the room.
Everything they’re talking about are the same issues people are facing in the
He said the discussion was “a chance to talk to them about the
choice between more government and less freedom or less government and more
Boaz Arad, a partner in the Kosher Tea group, and one of the
founders of the New Liberal Party, said “Israel has for many years believed in
the free market and capitalism and this was pushed to the margins over the
years. The Israeli state was built largely by capitalist wealth but the
socialist ideology has taken it over and since then people in the state of
Israel have learned that we need to have a free market and the people must be
Arad framed the meeting in light of the recent social
issues protests taking place in Israel, saying “the cost of living is
insufferable in Israel but the solution won’t come from asking the state to give
us more and more, what we need is for the free market to be stronger and to be
loosened up from government control.”
Basically, Arad said, “like the
American Tea Party, we want less government, fewer taxes, and more
This past October, an event was held in Tel Aviv to announce
the launch of a different group calling itself “The Israeli Tea Party,” but it
has not made waves since.