Dr Mike Evans

Nancy Pelosi to visit Israel this week

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is scheduled to visit Israel on Wednesday, according to Israeli media. Pelosi plans to visit the Knesset and show her support for Israel and the Jewish community. It will be her first visit to the nation since 2018 as part of Israel’s 70th Independence Day celebrations.

American support for Israel has traditionally been a bipartisan issue. However, in recent years progressives within the Democrat Party have pushed back on support, with the issue becoming very heated as the US voted to support funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense in 2021.

Members of the so-called “Squad” of Democratic radicals have been the most vocal in resistance to Israeli support, repeating the rhetoric of BDS movement leaders in opposition to Israel and in blind support of the Palestinian people.

Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American member of the House, has called Israel’s practices “apartheid,” blasting US aid for Israel and its efforts to resist Hamas’s terrorism.

Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar has also been noted for her attacks on Israel. Last summer, she tweeted: “we have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” including Israel alongside terrorist groups in a statement that was attacked by members of both parties in Congress.

Washington Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal pushed last year to separate the Iron Dome funding bill from a larger spending bill, in criticism of Israel. In the end, eight Democrats voted against approval of the Iron Dome funding measure.

Pelosi’s trip may be in part due to the need to strengthen support in her own party. House Democrats are widely expected to lose power after the November midterms, a move that would remove Pelosi as House Speaker. Her efforts now to slow the potential damage is part of what appears to be a wider attempt to increase good will to Israel and American Jews ahead of the elections.