Schwarzenegger to visit Israel



Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to carry out a visit to Jerusalem in May, his first overseas mission as governor, despite threats of retaliation against Israelis and Americans for the Israeli government's assassination this week of the founder of Islamic militant group Hamas.

The governor committed months ago to serve as guest speaker at a May 2 groundbreaking for the Center for Human Dignity and Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem.

The $200 million project is being directed by the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, an organization Schwarzenegger has long supported, which describes its mission as preserving the memory of the Holocaust.

Schwarzenegger is expected to meet with Israeli political leaders and various high tech and agriculture executives with investments in California, although his office has not released any of those details.

No meetings had been set with Palestinian officials.

A spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations said if Schwarzenegger is serious about tolerance, he should meet with Palestinians as well. Sabiha Khan said the governor should "drop by the refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank and see the present-day tragedy of the Palestinian people committed by the Israeli occupation…"

 


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