Mayor Philip Levine Invites Residents to Visit Israel's Missile Defense Manufacturers

Categories: News, Politicks

Photo uploaded by Matanya via Wikimedia Commons
An upcoming Miami Beach business trip will include a visit to the manufacturer of the Iron Dome missile defense system, above.
A month and a half after Israel launched "Operation Protective Edge" in response to Hamas rockets -- a military conflict that has now resulted in more than 2,000 Palestinian deaths and 67 Israeli casualties -- Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine announced plans for a fall business trip. To Israel. And he'd like you to tag along.

"I would like to invite you to join me... on the trip of a lifetime to Israel to learn about Israeli economic successes and interesting business opportunities," the mayor wrote in an email sent to Beach residents yesterday.

Levine isn't exactly shying away from the conflict, either. The itinerary includes a trip to the business that built Israel's "Iron Dome" missile defense system.

Critics of the conflict in Israel questioned Levine's decision to announce the trip just as a temporary cease-fire is set to expire yet again.

"It sends a very bad message," says Audrey Bomse, an activist with the Miami Beach chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, who believes the trip amounts to an endorsement of a military operation with plenty of mainstream criticism in the U.S. and abroad. "While all this is going on, it's hardly the time to be going there and lending support."

Levine's six-day trip also includes visits to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and offers "a chance to network with senior management from various industries, to meet with local and national leaders, to promote Israeli/Miami and Miami Beach economic opportunities, and to visit some of Israel's most important cultural sites."

Along with visits to the Jewish Diaspora Museum and Miami Beach's sister city, Nahariya, also on the schedule is a stop at Rafael Industries, the manufacturer of the Iron Dome.

Neither the mayor's office nor the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce president responded to Riptide's calls Monday seeking comment about the trip. It's also unclear if any taxpayer money will go toward the journey; the news release advertises that for those wanting to join, a deposit of $500 is due with the application, with the (unspecified) full cost to be paid by September 9.

"Seats are filling up VERY quickly," the release warns.

Send your tips to, or follow @trevorbach.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Reading this made me think that it's good to be balanced when speaking of terrorism that has occurred in the Israel Palestine conflict. “One of the better-documented massacres occurred in a small, neutral Palestinian village called Deir Yassin in April 1948 – before a single Arab army joined the conflict. A Swiss Red Cross representative was of the first to arrive on the scene, where he found 254 dead, including 145 women, 35 of them pregnant. Witnesses reported that the attackers lined up families – men, women, grandparents & children, even infants – & shot them.

“An eyewitness & future colonel in the Israeli military later wrote of the militia members: ‘They didn’t know how to fight, but as murderers they were pretty good.’ The Red Cross representative who found the bodies at Deir Yassin arrived in time to see some of the killing in action. He wrote in his diary that Zionist militia members were still entering houses with guns & knives when he arrived. He saw one young Jewish woman carrying a blood-covered dagger & saw another stab an old couple in their doorway. The representative wrote that the scene reminded him of S.S. troops he had seen in Athens.

“Richard Catling, British assistant inspector general for the criminal division, reported on ‘sexual atrocities’ committed by Zionist forces. ‘Many young school girls were raped & later slaughtered,’ he reported. ‘Old women were molested.’ The Deir Yassin attack was perpetrated by two […] main Zionist forces, whose elite unit participated in part of the operation. The heads of the two militias, Menachem Begin & Ytzakh Shamir, later became Prime Ministers of Israel.

To criticize what Israel does not make you racist, anti-Semitic or a self-hating Jew, only a person of compassion, with a good heart & morals.


I would recommend all Hispanic residents take the trip. 

DRAKEMALLARD.0 topcommenter

give more money to a another country no problem... secure our own border no way?

DJ Frustration
DJ Frustration

Good for him!!!  More people need to experience Israel to see just how progressive of a nation it is in contrast to the backwards ideology and destruction that surrounds the countries around them.

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault