Wayne Messam won big on Tuesday, capturing 86 percent of the vote to win a second term as mayor of Miramar. Now, he’s headed for something much bigger: the Promised Land.
Messam leaves Saturday on a trip to the Middle East.
The trip comes the same week that Messam announced something much bigger than serving as mayor of Florida’s 13th largest city. The day after his re-election win, he formed an exploratory committee as a prelude to running for president of the United States.
He expects to announce a decision by the end of March.
The trip to the Middle East, where he and an adviser visit Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, and Ramallah, a Palestinian city on the West Bank, is a step toward a presidential candidacy.
The region is a critical, and controversial, part of U.S. foreign policy. “It’s important, obviously,” Messam said.
Candidates for high office, such as president, U.S. Senate and governor, often cite their visits to Israel — a place Messam hasn’t visted before — during their campaign speeches. They don’t typically emphasize discussions with Palestinian leaders.
Messam will meet with experts and officials with divergent views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Messam and an adviser have meetings scheduled with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the deputy speaker of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament.
He plans to meet with diplomat Saeb Erakat, who negotiated the 1993 Oslo Accords and advocates for a Palestinian state, Palestinian National Council Member Hanan Ashrawi.
Sessions are also scheduled with B’Tselem, an organization the Israeli government has strongly criticized as hostile to Israel, and Breaking The Silence, a group of former Israeli soldiers. Both organizations are pushing to end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.
He said he’s returning Tuesday night.
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