A group of 41 US House Democrats landed in Israel on Monday for a week-long visit to “reaffirm our support for a critical US ally and to continue learning about the opportunities and the challenges facing Israel and the Middle East.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) is leading the group, which will meet with senior leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, opposition leader Benny Gantz, and with Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas.
The group is also slated to meet with Arab entrepreneurs, Israeli civil society leaders, and peace activists.
The delegation will tour Israel’s borders with Lebanon and Syria and see an Iron Dome battery, a crucial element of Israel’s defense against the explosive projectile threat emanating from Gaza and Lebanon which was developed with US support.
The delegation will also visit important historical and cultural sites, including the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.
The trip is organized by the American Israel Education Foundation, an independent, nonprofit charitable organization affiliated with AIPAC, America’s pro-Israel lobby.
The Foundation funds educational seminars to Israel for members of Congress and other political figures. These trips emphasize the importance of the US-Israel relationship through firsthand experiences in Israel, briefings by experts on Middle East affairs, and meetings with Israeli political elite.
“I am pleased to join so many House Democrats in traveling to Israel to reaffirm our support for a critical US ally and to continue learning about the opportunities and the challenges facing Israel and the Middle East,” Hoyer stated.
“Seeing the region firsthand and meeting with key Israeli and Palestinian leaders gives Members insights into a region that is vital both to our own national interests and to global security,” he added.
A delegation of Republican House members is expected to arrive in Israel on Friday. And will be headed by the House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy (CA).
The two leaders are excepted to hold a joint press conference in Jerusalem on Sunday.