Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema visited Israel only a few months ago, gathering insights and expertise on tunnel technology from the Israel Defense Forces. Some of that expertise has been put to use in Yuma recently to counter tunnels built by drug cartels, the senator told Jewish News in a one-on-one interview Thursday, Oct. 19.
Sinema described her July trip as “a wonderful visit,” where she was able to celebrate the Fourth of July at the American embassy in Jerusalem with many American friends living in Israel.
“I am really lucky to consider a number of individuals who live in Israel personal friends,” she said.
So when Sinema released a statement on Oct. 7, denouncing that day’s attacks on Israel as “horrific” and saying “our hearts are with the Israeli people,” she was responding both as one of Arizona’s top political leaders and a stalwart supporter of Israel, and as a shocked citizen worried about people she knows and cares about.
Since the attack she was able to confirm that “everyone that I know personally is safe. But there are individuals who are connected to our team and folks that we love, who we know are not safe right now,” she said.
She said that she is working closely with the American and Israeli governments “to recover hostages who are still being held captive by Hamas.”
Though Sinema is not Jewish, she has supported Israel “long before I was elected to any public office,” she said. When she was elected to Arizona’s House of Representatives in 2004, she worked to pass legislation that divested the state pension funds from Iran or any business that engaged with Iran, she said.
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