L. Michael Hager of Eastham writes complaining of a legislative junket to Israel paid for by the Jewish Community Relation Council of Greater Boston (“Ethics panel complicit in senators’ junket,” My View, Jan. 30).
The trip apparently was filled with visits to cultural sites and meetings with Israeli officials and, Hager alleges, was not predominantly for a “legitimate public purpose,” as required by the State Ethics Commission. In this the trip seems no different than “trade missions” taken every year by legislators to Ireland and many other countries.
Hager notes that at the time the trip was being planned, the Senate passed a resolution that “strongly discourages” any action that would undermine relations with Israel. Given the nature of the U.S. relationship with Israel, that resolution seems as innocuous as the resolutions that regularly appear at birthday and retirement parties all over the commonwealth.
One is left to wonder whether Hager himself has some agenda other than legislative ethics.
Brian R. Merrick