The Lincoln Club of Orange County, the largest conservative donor organization in the state of California, is in Israel this week.

Two of the club's leaders join Israel National News in the studio to explain about the club and why they are in Israel.

“We have just under 400 members, they're all business owners, political investors, and people who are passionate about California politics, as well as American politics in general,” says Lauren Johnson, the Lincoln Club of Orange County's Deputy Membership Director. “We get the pleasure to work with people who are ready to see California continue to grow and flourish.”

Wayne Lindholm, Chairman Emeritus and Board Member of the Lincoln Club, explains the connection between business and being involved in politics.

“If business people don't get involved in politics, we won't be successful in California and we have to engage and the Lincoln Club itself is made up of business people… my background is commercial construction and large construction – we did the Intel facility in Tel Aviv. So we’ve worked over in Israel, half a billion dollars,” he says. “With the Lincoln Club, we try and gather

these business people and and bring a common sense rational analysis to politics, which is tough to do right now in the climate within the US.”

The Lincoln Club has been on an international visit to the Middle East and now to Israel.

"We started in Egypt. We were there for three days, and then we went to Jordan, and now we're here in Israel and touring different areas, meeting with leaders and dignitaries, and we've had some incredible meetings so far,” Johnson says. “We just had one today with the minister of education."

They are having a special and unique experience seeing the land of Israel and meeting people up close.

Lindholm describes meeting Israelis as “unbelievable” in terms of the business talent that exists in the country.

“The the brain talent in Israel is as high as anywhere in the world and so that’s interesting,” he says.

He remarks when asked bout the perceived “craziness” of Israeli politics that Americans are experiencing a similar situation in the United States currently.

“We're not sure we understand [the craziness of American politics] in the US,” he says. "But what's interesting is as we talk to people about the craziness and the politics here, we’re going through a lot of the same things [in America]. We struggle with media being biased, pretty much all media is biased now,” he says. “We heard the same thing from our Israeli counterparts that media is biased.”

He adds: “We have the same issues that are driving us kind of crazy. The bent on the club is a very conservative organization, obviously. We’re big Trump fans. Trump was good for the United States, Trump was good for the world, for peace and prosperity, but peace through strength.”

Lindholm comments that while the club supports Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is also a good friend of the club. They recently threw a big fundraiser for him.

“I think one of those two are probably going to be the one [getting the Republican nomination],” he says.

Asked about whether there is still bipartisan support for Israel in US politics, he answers that both parties overall still support Israel but you have to separate the issues, and notes that he supports the Biden administration’s position on being pro-Ukraine but is highly critical of their stance on other issues, notably on Iran.

“Trump was very active [in supporting Israel]. We're still supporting Israel, the Democrats support Israel and Republicans support Israel,” he says.

Speaking about the judicial reforms and what some see as interference from the White House, he mentions that the US is having its own issues with its judiciary, with the left speaking of packing the US Supreme Court with extra Democratic justices after Trump was able to place three conservative justices on the court, leading to a conservative majority.

“The Supreme Court needs to stand on its own and stay back,” Lindholm says. “One of the goals that we had coming over here was just what is going on with the judicial system in Israel because frankly a lot of us didn't understand it. So that was the first question that we came up with. We were at a dinner last night and we spent 15 minutes talking about it.”

He adds that the US today has similar issues. “We have people, rogue heads of our FBI or our CIA, that are putting their finger on elections, with suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop issue. We have the same issues. It was put very succinctly just how tough it is to get through the bureaucracy, not just the people that are elected, so it’s interesting that we're learning more about that.”

This trip is Johnson’s first time in Israel. She describes the experience as “incredible.”

“Being here in the flesh, it’s different, it’s amazing and I think our members feel the exact same way,” she says.

She adds that the goal of the visit to the Middle East and Israel is for the Lincoln Club to act as a liaison for their members with different countries and leaders they are meeting.

“It's just natural when we look at our club members, a lot of them are from all over the world and they have businesses all over the world, and so right now is really a very unique time because our members are invested in what's going on in other countries and as a club and an organization we’re interested in bridging those gaps and finding commonalities with other countries and having conversations with these leaders to understand, what are the needs of different countries, what projects are they working on.”