Dr. Ben Carson is going to visit Israel in a private fact-finding mission to immerse himself in the country’s history and to gain firsthand knowledge of the culture and the people. Many potential candidates visit Israel to reaffirm support for this key ally in the Middle East. Dr. Carson told Newsmax TV hosts J.D. Hayworth and Ed Berliner on Friday why he considers this trip so important:
“As I consider a run, Israel is an extremely important place to have a good pulse on. We’ve all read a lot about it, we’ve all heard a lot about it, but if you haven’t actually been there, experienced the culture, talked to the people, I think you’re always going to have a little bit of a distorted impression.”
Dr. Carson acknowledged that the U.S. relationship with Israel is strained.
“I don’t get the impression that Israel feels that we are their solid ally anymore. One of the reasons that is so problematic is because if we can’t support them, what are our other allies thinking?”
This will be the retired neurosurgeon’s first trip to Israel. He will leave on Saturday, December 13, for one week. While traveling in Israel, Dr. Carson will take a helicopter tour of the Gaza strip and visit a military base. He also plans on meeting with local religious leaders as well as visit Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital to meet with the head of neurosurgery.
Dr. Carson officially changed his party registration from Independent to Republican last month in a pragmatic move to avoid risking a split electorate. Carson will announce his decision to run for President of the United States in May 2015. He formed the USA First PAC to support Republican candidates in the midterms, including Joni Ernst of Iowa and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. Both candidates won their elections.
Image credit: Newsmax screenshot
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.