CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) this week returned from a trip to Israel that focused on the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship and ways to advance common economic and national security interests. During the trip, the delegation — which included Rabbi Victor Urecki of Charleston’s B'nai Jacob Synagogue — met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, as well as a number of government, military and business leaders.
“This was a powerful visit to a country that has proven to be a vital ally and will continue to be an important partner on the world stage,” Senator Capito said. “It’s clear that Israel faces some significant challenges — many of which we discussed with Prime Minister Netanyahu and saw firsthand during the trip — and it’s important that the United States continues to take those challenges seriously. I was especially grateful to travel alongside Rabbi Urecki and his wife Marilyn and for their valuable insights and perspectives. It was truly inspiring to see how dedicated the Israeli people are to their families, their faith and their heritage and to realize just how much they have in common with West Virginians.”
“It is hard to express how appreciative we are to our senator for visiting Israel and emphasizing the unbreakable relationship between our country and the Jewish state,” Rabbi Urecki said. “Being a part of this trip reminded my wife and me of the bipartisan strength of the U.S.-Israel friendship and how grateful members of our Jewish community are of Senator Capito’s long support for Israel’s security.”
The trip also included stops at several military sites for updates on the country’s strategic challenges, missile defense systems and military readiness. Among them were visits to the opening of a Hamas tunnel near Gaza led by the Israeli Defense Forces, Kibbutz Nahal Oz and the Syrian border.
Through various meetings, the delegation also explored potential economic opportunities important to West Virginia. Senator Capito met with experts and officials in the water and energy fields, including the head of Israel’s Water Authority and the director general of Israel's Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources. In recognition of her work to expand access to broadband in West Virginia, Israeli officials also invited Senator Capito to meet with Israeli cybersecurity leaders to discuss potential West Virginia-Israel partnerships in that growing industry.
The visit also included stops at holy sites sacred to all three monotheistic faiths — including the Mt. of Beatitudes, Capernaum and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher — and a wreath laying ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum.
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