New Jersey Republican governor Chris Christie is touring Israel this week, visiting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. But right now he's gone north, visiting the Golan Heights for a security briefing and a tour.
Back stateside, there's speculation that a Republican presidential candidate--e.g., Mitt Romney--might ask Christie to be his running mate, and fill the vice presidential slot. So it's a good thing that Christie is thickening his foreign policy chops. And it's even better to note that Christie is not just getting a chance to learn from our allies in Israel; he's getting a view (from afar, at least) of our and Israel's enemies in Syria and Lebanon.
Here's Christie, receiving his scheduled security briefing on top of Mount Bental, with views of Syria in the background, from Israel Defense Force liaison officer Major Jonathan Conricus:
Mount Bental was the site of heavy tank fighting during the 1973 Yom Kippur war. "Mount Bental is a key strategic point for Israel due to its advantageous observation point," jewishvirtuallibrary.org notes. "Israel knew it count not risk losing this mountain, nor any of the Golan Heights . The Syrians attacked the Golan with 1,500 tanks and 1,000 artillery pieces. Israel countered with only 160 tanks and 60 artillery pieces. The long stretch of valley in between Mount Bental and Mount Hermon became known as the Valley of Tears. The 100 Israeli tanks were reduced to seven under extreme enemy fire. However, the Israelis managed to take down 600 Syrian tanks in the process. The Syrians eventually retreated, but not without inflicting heavy casualties on Israel."
And here's a view of Christie, the possible future vice presidential candidate, getting a good look at parts of Syria, approximately only 60 kilometers from Damascus:
But it wasn't just Syria. Christie also had a chance from northern Israel to peer into a Hezbollah-controlled town in southern Lebanon:
"Governor Chris Christie overlooks South Lebanon from the Benayah Outpost [and is briefed] on the security of the Golan Heights in Israel," the official caption reads from the New Jersey governor's office.
Later today, Christie will depart Israel for a visit with the king of Jordan.