As Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) prepares to travel to Israel for the first time in his life tomorrow, the National Jewish Democratic Council welcomed him and thanked him for his visit. With members of the press apparently not welcome to accompany the governor during his trip, the organization offered a few questions it and American Jewish voters would be curious to have him address.
- What spurred your interest in traveling to Israel after having never been there in 47 years? The last time your state of Wisconsin established an official cooperative agreement with Israel was in 2009, under your Democratic predecessor Jim Doyle. Just as a contrast, Democratic presidential contender Secretary Hillary Clinton has been to Israel countless times, as First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State.
- Having little foreign policy experience to draw from, how will your policies differ from other Republicans, particularly former President George W. Bush? Will you support former Pres. Bush's failed foreign policy approaches such as backing elections in Gaza over Israel’s objections which allowed Hamas to come to power and his administration's “frosty” responses to Iron Dome? How will you separate yourself from the party that led the United States into a failed war in the Middle East under false pretenses?
- How do your positions differ from Sheldon Adelson, one of the primary backers of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), the organization co-funding your trip? You may recall that last November, Mr. Adelson reportedly said, "So Israel won't be a democratic state, so what?" Do you think that Israel needs to remain a democratic state in the future? Do you also support a Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security?
- You’ve previously made some interesting comments on foreign policy, Governor, including comparing Wisconsin union workers to ISIS terrorists and stating that Ronald Reagan helped end the Cold War by firing U.S. air traffic controllers. Have you, as President Obama suggested, taken steps to “bone up” on foreign policy issues? After all, as you yourself told the RJC earlier this spring, foreign policy is “not an area that governors typically look at.”
- How will your trip differ from then-Senator Obama’s trip to Israel in 2008, when he received widespread acclaim for his visit to Sderot en route to winning 74 percent of the American Jewish vote that November?
We look forward to Gov. Walker’s answers, and we wish him well in his time abroad. We hope Walker’s team allows us and the American people to hear about it.