A group of six Minnesota state legislators discussed their progress on fighting BDS in their state at the Knesset Wednesday with Communications Minister Ayoub Kara, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Michael Oren, and MKs in the Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu), Yoel Hasson (Zionist Union), Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) and Yehuda Glick (Likud),.
The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) organized the bipartisan and bicameral delegation of Minnesota State Legislators and other Minnesota leaders to Israel for the second year in a row.
This group includes Senator Steve Cwodzinski, Representative Tony Albright, Representative Kelly Fenton, Representative Joe Schomacker, Representative Linda Runbeck, Representative Brian Johnson, and Tammy Pust, the Chief Judge of the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings.
According to the latest figures, Minnesota conducted over $100 million in trade with Israel in the past year, and this year passed anti-BDS legislation. This bipartisan legislative effort was made possible, in part, by state legislators who participated in the 2016 JCRC trip to Israel and heard first-hand about the discriminatory nature of the BDS movement.
“’As the public affairs voice for Minnesota’s Jewish community, the JCRC is proud to bring together such a diverse group of Minnesotans, including Christians and Jews, Democrats and Republicans, and participants in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s for a week which in equal parts showcases Israel as a land holy to Christians, Jews, and Muslims, a thriving democracy, a nation besieged by implacable enemies, and a technological powerhouse," said Ethan Roberts, JCRC Director of Government Affairs.”
Jacob Millner a senior policy analyst with The Israel Project who is also participating in the trip, said the group was thankful for this opportunity to learn and discover new ways to enhance and continue to grow the US-Israel relationship as well as the Israel-Minnesota bond.
"There is no better way to learn about Israel—it’s politics, economy, triumphs, and hardships—than by being on the ground," he said.