Likely GOP presidential candidate off to Israel for ‘educational trip’


(JTA) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a likely candidate for the GOP nomination for president, said he plans to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel for what is being billed as an “educational trip.”

Walker left late Saturday night from Greenville, South Carolina, where he had participated in the South Carolina Freedom Summit.

On his five-day trip, Walker also is scheduled to meet with members of the Knesset and Israeli military leaders, as well as the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, according to The New York Times.

The governor’s tour of Jerusalem will include visits to the Western Wall, the Via Dolorosa and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, where he will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony, according to the Times. He also is scheduled to tour the site of the future Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem.

The trip reportedly is being paid for by Our American Revival, Walker’s political organization, and the Republican Jewish Coalition.

His political organization said Walker, an evangelical Christian, would take a helicopter tour of “various historical and strategically significant sites,” visit religious sites, meet with a “wide range of leaders at the highest levels of government,” and discuss economic development with Israeli and Palestinian entrepreneurs, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Walker announced last month that he would not take media on the trip, calling it a “listening tour.”

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