A delegation of no less than 41 Democrats from the U.S. House of Representatives was set to arrive in Israel on Monday despite efforts by far-left-wing members and groups to dissuade them from making the trip, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Freshman congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez refused to participate because AIPAC is a co-sponsor with the American Israel Education Foundation.
The Democrats were subjected to pressure from left-wing groups IfnotNow and Code Pink to “skip the trip.”
“I am pleased to join so many House Democrats in traveling to Israel to reaffirm our support for a critical U.S. ally and to continue learning about the opportunities and the challenges facing Israel and the Middle East,” House Majority leader Steny Hoyer said in a statement.
“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.”
A Republican delegation of comparable size is scheduled to arrive on Friday, led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
“The fact that so many Democrats decided to come on the trip, despite intense efforts to the contrary at the grassroots level, is viewed in Jerusalem as a sign that the Democratic party leadership is keen on showing that the party remains strongly supportive of Israel,” the Post said.
The delegation plans to meet with senior Israeli and Palestinian government officials, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, opposition leader Benny Gantz, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The group, the statement said, “will also meet with young Palestinian entrepreneurs, Israeli civil society leaders, and peace activists. During the trip, members will visit Israel’s borders with Lebanon and Syria and see an Iron Dome battery. The delegation will also visit important historical and cultural sites, including the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.”