TEL AVIV – Fifty-three members of the U.S. House of Representatives are spending August break in Israel on a trip sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF).
The groups are comprised primarily of freshman members, according to a statement by the organization, which is an independent non-profit funded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
The delegation is being lead by House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Democratic Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with 18 Democratic members of Congress in Jerusalem and will meet with Republican lawmakers on Wednesday.
“The goal of the trips for both the Democratic and Republican groups is to provide members with first-hand knowledge of the U.S.-Israel relationship and critical issues facing American policymakers in the Middle East,” AIEF said. “Topics include regional strategic threats and how recent events may impact the future in the region.”
Lawmakers will meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, military officials, academics, journalists, and ordinary citizens.
They will also visit sites of historic and strategic relevance, as well as touring the borders Israel shares with Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.