(Jerusalem, Israel) — Greetings from Israel. Thank you so much for your prayers and notes of encouragement. Please keep praying for the peace of Jerusalem and all of Israel. Please mobilize family and friends to pray more. Events are moving rapidly here.
- On Tuesday, Hamas broke another ceasefire agreement.
- This is the 11th time Hamas and its terrorist allies have done so.
- They began firing rockets in the late afternoon here.
- On Tuesday evening, Hamas launched a massive barrage of rockets at southern and central Israel, including Jerusalem, more than 50 rockets in less than two hours.
- In response, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered devastating new airstrikes at Hamas targets in Gaza.
- The IDF is re-mobilizing on the borders of Gaza.
- Media reports here say the IDF is preparing for a possible new ground invasion.
Lynn and the boys and I arrived here in the Land on Friday night after making Aliyah. We moved into our apartment and spent the weekend doing errands, going to church and beginning to get settled in.
Then on Monday, I met my friend Senator Rick Santorum’s Solidarity Delegation as they arrived at Ben Gurion Airport for a several day visit to stand with the embattled people of Israel. The delegation includes American businessmen, pastors and journalists, most of whom have never visited Israel before. My eldest son, Caleb, is also with me for these few days.
- We had the honor to visiting the parents of Gil’Ad Shaer, one of the Israeli Jewish teenagers who was kidnapped and murdered by Hamas in June, an event that set into motion this current war.
- We met with and received a briefing from Amb. Dore Gold, senior foreign policy advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
- We visited the Gaza border, soldiers, and an Iron Dome installation and received briefings on the latest developments from military officials.
- We visited Biblical sites such as the Mount of Olives, the City of David excavations, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Western Wall.
For a detailed update on what we’ve been doing, please review my Twitter account for the last few days. I’ll post more details, insights and pictures in the days ahead.
For now, let me post the press release that the Senator issued that explains the delegation’s objectives.
(Verona, Pennsylvania) — Former U.S. Senator, former Republican presidential candidate and Chairman of Patriot Voices Rick Santorum will travel to Israel on Sunday, August 17, for a 3-day mission with prominent conservative and business leaders.
The trip will focus on three goals:
- To show solidarity with the State of Israel – with her courageous people and leaders – who are engaged in a fight for their lives and freedom against the twin evils of Radical Islam and Repugnant Anti-Semitism.
- To reaffirm the moral and strategic imperative of maintaining a strong, close, enduring U.S.-Israeli alliance.
- To pray for the peace of Jerusalem and all who live in the Middle East.
The trip will be mainly in Jerusalem and also include a visit to an Iron Dome facility. The delegation will make visits to Mount of Olives, City of David, Mount Herzl Military Cemetery and other sites.
Senator Santorum and the delegation will meet with Israel government and military leaders, Israeli soldiers, local residents directly affected by the violence, religious leaders, and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer.
The delegation will include:
- Pastor Douglas M. Bankson, Pastor (Florida)
- Dr. Mark T. Barclay, Pastor (Michigan)
- Former Congressman Gresham Barrett (South Carolina)
- Simon Conway, WHO radio host (Iowa)
- Foster Friess, Businessman (Wyoming)
- Pastor Cary Gordon, Cornerstone World Outreach (Iowa)
- Quin Hillyer, nationwide columnist and writer (Alabama)
- Greg Rothman, businessman (Pennsylvania)
- Bob Vander Plaats, President of The Family Leader (Iowa)
- Joel C. Rosenberg, author, will join the delegation upon arrival in Israel.
“This trip will be an important opportunity as representatives of the American people to show our solidarity with the people of Israel. Our goal is to tell Israel’s leaders and its people that Americans support them despite President Obama’s inconsistent rhetoric and actions regarding their country,” said Senator Santorum.
Senator Santorum served in the U.S. Senate from 1995-2007. He was a leader on U.S.-Israeli affairs, advancing American interests in the Middle East, and standing against the forces of Radical Islam and tyranny. He authored both the “Syria Accountability Act” and the “Iran Freedom and Support Act.” He also served eight years on the Senate Armed Services Committee where he led the fight before the attacks of September 11th, 2001 to transform our military from a Cold War force to meet today’s threats.
In addition, Santorum led the Program to Protect America’s Freedom at the Ethics and Public Policy Center from 2007 until 2011. The program focused on raising awareness about the threats to America from anti-western groups.