By Kery Murakami
Rep.Colleen Hanabusa says she's heading to Israel on Sunday as part of a congressional delegation that will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Reflecting her position on the House Armed Services Committee, Hanabusa said in a release that the delegation will also meet with several officials, including Israeli National Security Director, Yaakov Amidror. The delegation will also tour Israel's northern and southern borders, and visit a kibbutz on the border with the Gaza strip during the week-long trip.
The trip, funded by the American Israel Education Foundation, will also include lunch with residents of the kibbutz and Israeli soldiers. And Hanabusa said, "it is critical that we have a chance to put a human face on issues that we so often consider in Congress. For all the talk of strategic alliances and international relations, I am looking forward to meeting the people of Israel and learning how these discussions and interactions affect their lives, and other lives in the region."
At a time when most other members of Congress are heading back home for a month-long recess, Hanabusa said she's working in the Israel trip because, "the strength and importance of America's relationship to Israel is fundamental to our strategy in the Middle East I believe it is incumbent on every member of Congress to take the time to gain a thorough understanding of the genuine issues and realities on the ground there." She'll be returning to Hawaii after the trip.