I’m honored to be travelling to Israel this week, with several other Secretaries of State from our country. If you’ve been paying attention to what’s been going on over there, it should be a pretty insightful trip! In a historic stalemate, Israel’s current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been unable to form a government because he can’t get a majority of lawmakers to join him--so Israel may be headed into its third straight election.

Unlike the United States, parliamentarian governments don’t always have predictable election calendars. In order to govern, prime ministers have to put together coalition majorities if their own party doesn’t gain an outright majority. While I like some of the features of multi-party systems, I prefer our American two-party system which promotes stable terms in office, and gives closure to elections. I’m looking forward to learning about Israel’s elections, institutions, governing and people.

Israel is 71 years old, in its current state. Geographically it’s located on the most contested, controversial, and historic real estate parcels the world has ever known. I was supposed to visit Israel back in 1993, while I was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67). But the Balkans were in a civil war, and our port call to Haifa, Israel, was cancelled because our carrier had to maintain proximity to Bosnia so that our fighters could fly close-air support to Air Force cargo planes dropping humanitarian aid.

So, after all these years, I’m finally making a port call to Israel.


Corey Stapleton
Montana Secretary of State


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