Only Muslim US Congressman to return to Israel

The only Muslim member of Congress said Wednesday he will return for a second visit to Israel during this month's congressional recess. Rep. Keith Ellison, a first-year Democrat in the House of Representatives, will travel to Israel with about 20 other Democratic lawmakers on a trip sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation. The foundation in an independent, nonprofit charitable organization affiliated with the America Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby. In an interview, Ellison noted that much has changed since his last trip to Israel in the spring with a congressional delegation led by the top House Democrat, Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A Palestinian Authority national unity government was dissolved after Hamas seized power in the Gaza Strip, while Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who leads the rival Fatah faction, formed a government in the West Bank.