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Seattle mayor’s $36K trip to Israel a slap in the face

Mayor Ed Murray is on a five-day tour of Israel that is reportedly costing Seattle taxpayers about $36,000. (Photo: Seattle Mayor's Office)

Taken from Monday’s edition of KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show.

Mayor Ed Murray is on a five-day tour of Israel &#8212 to speak at an LGBT conference and to participate in a trade mission.

The trip is expected to cost Seattle taxpayers about $36,000, according to The Seattle Times.

They lie to the taxpayers and say it’s not going to cost anything for Murray to go to Israel, which on the face is not true because if he’s not doing his job to pursue his passion of LGBT issues, then it is costing us by virtue of him not being on the job.

According to the Times:

Murray’s spokesman previously said Israel’s foreign ministry would pay for the trip to the conference but now says Seattle is covering some expenses, including $24,000 for flights for a staff member and security guards and lodging for the guards throughout the trip.

Why does Ed Murray need a security detail in Israel? He can walk down the streets of any city in Israel and nobody would have the faintest clue about who he is. That seems to be more of an ego play. Again, taxpayer expense.

Also from the Times:

In addition, the Seattle Fire Department is paying about $10,000 to $12,000 for two of its officials to participate in the trade mission.

Again, why is that? Why do we have to send the Seattle Fire Department to Israel for a trade mission?

“This is an opportunity for the city of Seattle to highlight its role as a leader internationally in LGBT issues and also an opportunity to build valuable economic and trade ties,” Murray’s spokesman Viet Shelton told the Times.

There are much bigger issues in this city right now, transportation being the absolute top of that. But that’s not what this mayor cares about.

It’s a real slap in the face.

Murray issued the following statement on Monday:

“Today I had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Erekat during a visit to Ramallah. We talked about our mutual hopes for peace and a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and our shared commitment to promoting democracy and civil rights for all. We also discussed the possibility of identifying a civic project or exchange that might be pursued in cooperation with a municipality or business in the West Bank.

“I had the chance to sit down with a group of Palestinian students. They impressed me with their commitment to higher education and their belief in the power of that education despite the adversity they face every day. I came away inspired by their hope for a better future and their desire to make a difference.”

Taken from Monday’s edition of KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show.

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