Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (MN-06) traveled to Israel last week where she met with high-ranking officials, including a private meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, about intelligence issues. Bachmann went to Israel in her capacity as a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). She was in Israel March 11-15, 2012.
"My trip to Israel only reaffirmed for me the pressing need to stand, unequivocally, with our friend and ally," said Bachmann. "On the night of my arrival, Israel was in the middle of a days-long firefight by Hammas-aligned militants. Thanks to the Iron Dome, a system used to intercept missiles, provided to Israel by the United States, dozens of rockets were intercepted before they could take civilian lives. The Israeli officials I spoke with are pleased with the success rate of the Iron Dome and hope that the United States will continue collaborating with them on the future of this system. Had the Iron Dome not been in place last week, we could be seeing a full-scale military incursion into Gaza. I am thankful the Israelis are afforded the opportunity to protect themselves against assault.
"In addition to seeing the successful deployment of the Iron Dome, I also had the opportunity to discuss the current situation in Iran with Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Netanyahu. Many times, I heard that if the United States is serious about stopping Iran, we should consider moving up the timeline for implementing the toughest possible sanctions against Iran. I see no reason for delaying the implementation of these sanctions.
"I also heard that if Iran succeeds in becoming a nuclear power, then profound consequences to future American safety interests are at stake. I agree. America must prevent a nuclear Iran. By doing so, terrorists groups and rouge nations will understand they cannot act in contradiction of established International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) rules to protect the safety of humanity. Furthermore, America stands by her allies. We stand by Israel."
Last week's trip as a HPSCI member was Bachmann's fifth trip to the region.