Israel

Daines touts Montana's role in economic relations on Israel trip

2013-08-13T06:15:00Z 2013-08-20T17:50:07Z Daines touts Montana's role in economic relations on Israel trip missoulian.com

HELENA – U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, who’s been conducting a “Montana jobs tour” during Congress’ August break, is taking his tour on a different route this week – to Israel.

Daines, Montana’s freshman Republican congressman, left Sunday for a week in Israel, as part of a trip with 25 other members of Congress, sponsored by a charity tied to one of the nation’s most prominent pro-Israel lobby groups.

Daines said the group will be meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and learning more about U.S.-Israeli relations and Mideast peace talks.

He also said in a statement Monday that he’ll be discussing “the important role that Montana companies play in American-Israeli economic relations.”

Daines mentioned that Sonju Industrial Inc. of Kalispell has joined Raytheon to work on a missile-defense system for Israel.

When asked what other Montana companies did business with Israel, Daines’ office said the U.S. trade representative listed $1.5 million in Montana exports to Israel in 2012. That’s a tiny fraction of the $2.5 billion in international exports from Montana last year.

The trip is being financed by the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), a charity affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the primary pro-Israel lobby in the country.

AIPAC had a $68 million budget for the fiscal year ending last September.

The website for the American Israel Education Foundation (AEIF) says it funds educational seminars to Israel “for members of Congress and other political influential.”

The trips “help educate political leaders and influential about the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship through first-hand experiences in Israel, briefings by experts on Middle East affairs and meetings with Israeli political elite,” the website said.

Daines was invited by AEIF to come on the trip, said his spokeswoman, Alee Lockman. He’ll return home Sunday.

Daines won election as Montana’s only congressman last year, defeating Democrat Kim Gillan 53 percent to 43 percent to win an open seat.

Some Republicans are pushing Daines to run next year for Montana’s open U.S. Senate seat, which is being vacated by Democratic U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, who is retiring after six terms. Daines has said he’s considering the race, but hasn’t decided.

Daines, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, also said Monday that U.S. national security interests are “directly tied with Israel’s.”

“It is critical that I work to maintain relationships abroad that will in turn keep Americans safe here at home,” he said.

But Daines also stressed the economic ties between Montana and Israel, saying he wants to ensure Montana and Israel maintain “positive economic partnerships for years to come.”

Lockman said while Daines visits Israel, he’s looking to see where “additional opportunities” might exist to sell Montana goods and products.

Before leaving for Israel, Daines made stops last week in eastern Montana, Bozeman and Butte on his jobs tour, talking with business people, educators and government officials.

Missoulian State Bureau reporter Mike Dennison can be reached at 1-800-525-4920 or by email at mike.dennison@lee.net.

Copyright 2015 missoulian.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(16) Comments

  1. Objective observer
    Report Abuse
    Objective observer - August 13, 2013 6:22 pm
    Okay. His campaign coffers will benefit but not him personally.
  2. Dr Kenneth Noisewater
    Report Abuse
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater - August 13, 2013 4:49 pm
    Well....that didn't take long. Another Montana politician being bought and paid for by a lobby that has nothing to do with the well being of Montana.

    For a state that prides itself on upholding integrity and following the cowboy way, we sure tend to send some spineless ninnies over to Washington.
  3. HMSGlowworm
    Report Abuse
    HMSGlowworm - August 13, 2013 4:20 pm
    I am glad to see that anti-Semitic views can now be veiled as as more correct anti-Israel ones--and we thought those folks moved on to North Idaho years ago.
  4. carsoncitykid3
    Report Abuse
    carsoncitykid3 - August 13, 2013 1:44 pm
    My only hope is that he will forget where Montana is and not come home-ever!
  5. Aberdeen
    Report Abuse
    Aberdeen - August 13, 2013 1:11 pm
    Wonder how faithful our "true ally" would be if we stopped sending BILLIONS their way each year?
  6. JustEd
    Report Abuse
    JustEd - August 13, 2013 12:53 pm
    Go christ claus! Maybe the holy inter-galactic Escalade will arrive soon. Did they get those perfect cows bred in Texas yet, to help usher in the return of christ claus?
  7. PK67
    Report Abuse
    PK67 - August 13, 2013 11:44 am
    He will benefit when he receives donations from these three major lobby groups:

    Christians United for Israel, is the "largest" pro-Israel lobby.[26][27]
    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) which directly lobbies the United States Congress
    The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations which "is the main contact between the Jewish community and the executive branch" of the US government.[24]
  8. dave ajou
    Report Abuse
    dave ajou - August 13, 2013 11:23 am
    Why don't you slap on your superman cape and give the DNC a call. Tread lightly on everyone else being an idiot and the impotent business, you don't want to ruin that first impression.
  9. jus wundrin
    Report Abuse
    jus wundrin - August 13, 2013 9:19 am
    Good for you congressman, we need to support our ONLY true ally in the middle east.
  10. Aberdeen
    Report Abuse
    Aberdeen - August 13, 2013 8:52 am
    There are some "upsides" to this story: Congress is not in session, and Daines is not in Montana!
  11. montanamuralist
    Report Abuse
    montanamuralist - August 13, 2013 8:33 am
    Actually, even though I dislike Daines, to be fair, the taxpayers are not footing the bill for this trip. Lobbyists are paying for it. That being said, his rhetoric about learning about peace negotiations in the Middle East is lame. Really lame! He is learning about peace in the Middle East from one side of the issue, Israeli lobbyists. Can we say it together....LAME!!!!! Daines, Tea Party clone and defender of your corporate masters ( Montana citizens overall are not bright enough to see this) not to mention your resistance and lack of an alternative plan to any kind of reform in the health care system that will help millions get health care, is a disgraceful position. Perhaps rather than traveling with lobbyists to the Middle East, you would like to present an alternative health care plan? Perhaps you and your lame followers who rant on here about Obamacare would like to share an alternative that will help bring down the cost of health care for average Americans? Instead, your over in the Middle East gallivanting around for little economic gain for this state. Waste of political space and if the politically impotent Dems in this state could ever field a candidate that can articulate these issues...you Daines would be a one term. As it is, voters will continue to vote against their own interests and for corporate America in the false hope they will create jobs for us here as they continue to ship jobs overseas. Nice work Daines...I am ashamed you are my representative..have fun in Israel and take lots of pictures because maybe you can show them at your next town hall meeting...what a waste.
  12. MsPink
    Report Abuse
    MsPink - August 13, 2013 7:21 am
    Curious how much it cost the American taxpayers to send 25 congress persons to Israel when our Congress better serves us here, working on important domestic matters like...immigration, passing a budget in September...?
  13. Objective observer
    Report Abuse
    Objective observer - August 13, 2013 6:17 am
    Please tell us how the congressman will benefit financially from a trip to Israel. Be specific.
  14. billxx1122
    Report Abuse
    billxx1122 - August 13, 2013 12:14 am
    so yet another politician bought by Israel.

    and I don't even have to jump to conclusion; the article says it.
  15. mike1
    Report Abuse
    mike1 - August 12, 2013 10:32 pm
    Rep. Daines, good to see you working for jobs with Israelies--much better than wasting time and making big mistakes trying to destroy the health care law and obstructing govt. By the way, if you are involved in homeland security then you must believe in big govt and public investments in our time of need. You will have to show much more legislating effectively in order for anyone to think you are competent for the Senate. You have not shown much so far.
  16. The_Boneshackler
    Report Abuse
    The_Boneshackler - August 12, 2013 10:23 pm
    Great. Montana's lone Congressman is lending legitimacy to genocidal terrorists and war criminals. I suppose that he will benefit financially.
Missoulian Civil Dialogue Policy

Civil Dialogue Policy for Commenting on Missoulian.com

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Comments can only be submitted by registered users. By posting comments on our site, you are agreeing to the following terms:

Commentary and photos submitted to the Missoulian (Missoulian.com) may be published or distributed in print, electronically or other forms. Opinions expressed in Missoulian.com's comments reflect the opinions of the author, and are not necessarily the opinions of the Missoulian or its parent company. See the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Our guidelines prohibit the solicitation of products or services, the impersonation of another site user, threatening or harassing postings and the use of vulgar, abusive, obscene or sexually oriented language, defamatory or illegal material. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other classification. It's fine to criticize ideas, but ad hominem attacks on other site users are prohibited. Users who violate those standards may lose their privileges on missoulian.com.

You may not post copyrighted material from another publication. (Link to it instead, using a headline or very brief excerpt.)

No short policy such as this can spell out all possible instances of material or behavior that we might deem to be a violation of our publishing standards, and we reserve the right to remove any material posted to the site.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Press conference: Kirsten Pabst

Press conference: Kirsten Pabst

April 22 press conference with Kirsten Pabst at the Missoula County Courthouse

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian reporter Martin Kidston presents the latest news you need to know about today's h…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian digital director Emily Foster presents the latest news you need to know about tod…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian digital director Emily Foster presents the latest news you need to know about tod…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian digital director Emily Foster presents the latest news you need to know about tod…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian digital director Emily Foster presents the latest news you need to know about tod…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian digital director Emily Foster presents the latest news you need to know about tod…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian digital director Emily Foster presents the latest news you need to know about tod…

Les Schwab

loading...

Search our events calendar