Radical-left fail: Hoyer brings 41 House democrats to Israel

17.5% of House Dems to arrive on Monday

August 5, 2019 19:39
1 minute read.

DEMOCRATS ARE taking control the US House of Representatives. (photo credit: REUTERS)

US House Majority leader Steny Hoyer arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport on Monday at the head of a delegation of 41 Democratic representatives, despite efforts by radical left-wing groups to pressure congresspeople not to join the trip.

The tour – meant primarily for freshman representatives – is organized in August of each non-election year by the American Israel Education Foundation, a charitable organization affiliated with AIPAC. This year there are 62 first-term Democrats, and 36 freshman Republicans
“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 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 expected to be of a similar size is scheduled to arrive on Friday. That group will be headed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

There are currently 235 Democrats in the House, meaning that 17.5% of them will be in Israel this week.

The Democrats came despite abundant press coverage given to the pointed refusal by high-profile freshman congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to participate in an AIPAC affiliated trip. The radical-Left groups IfnotNow and Code Pink lionized the decision of the congresswomen. In a very public campaign including online petitions, they called on other representatives to “skip the trip.”

The fact that so many Democrats decided to join the fact-finding mission, 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.

According to the statement put out by Hoyer, the delegation will meet with senior Israeli and Palestinian government officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin 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.”

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