The town hall meeting, unique to New England’s traditional style of local citizen governance, made its way to Jerusalem when two U.S. Congressmen visited Israel’s capital to discuss “local” issues with U.S. citizens.
Republican Congressmen Bill Johnson of Ohio and David McKinley of West Virginia took part in a historic town hall meeting with American expatriates at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, organized by Yes! Israel, the Israel Allies Foundation, PJTN, and Republicans Abroad Israel.
“This has been a people’s visit,” U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson told Tazpit News Agency. “It’s the first time that I’ve participated in a town hall meeting outside the United States.”
“I come as a congressman but I hope to leave as a friend,” Rep. Johnson told the audience in his opening remarks.
The congressmen spent a week touring the country, meeting with Israeli government officials and deputy ministers, visiting Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem’s Old City and Beit Wittenberg in the Muslim Quarter, where Mark Twain once stayed during his trip to the Mediterranean in 1867.
They also addressed 200 students at Ariel University in Samaria on Monday,
Representative Johnson related that he grew up on a family farm in North Carolina and attended a two-room church where he first heard the biblical stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, King David and Samson. “Those stories made a great impression on me as a child,” he said.
“My faith is why I’m here in Israel today,” he said, “Like many Christians in America, I’m grateful for the historical role of the Holy Land throughout the ages.”