The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is a pro-Israel lobby that seeks to influence US elected officials. AIPAC hosted 41 Democrats, led by Steny Hoyer, and 31 Republicans, led by Kevin McCarthy, at the King David Hotel. McCarthy received almost unanimously negative comments when he tweeted, “Just arrived in Israel with dozens of other members of Congress—Republican and Democrat. We are here to show unity in our support for Israel and her people.” The gist of the angry Tweets was that the politicians should have stayed home and shown their unity and support for America, instead. -GEG
A total of 41 Republicans and 31 Democrats are in Israel on overlapping party tours to get a firsthand view of the complex security challenges Israel faces and to express their unconditional, bipartisan support for the Jewish state.
The delegations are touring Israel’s borders and gaining insight into Israeli advances in areas of defense, agriculture, water desalination and conservation, and commercial technology. In addition, the groups met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz, and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.
“This is the largest delegation that has ever visited Israel,” said House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who led the Democratic delegation at a joint press conference of the two delegations on Sunday at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel. “We have 32 freshman members in our delegation of the 41. For many of them, it is their first visit to Israel,” said Hoyer.
House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said that the U.S. relationship with Israel represents “an unwavering and undeniable bond, and the most important relationship we have in the Middle East. I want to emphasize that this is more than 15 percent of the entire U.S. House of Representatives with you right now.”