JERUSALEM (Israel Hayom)–Seven Republican members of Congress are scheduled to visit Israel this month, the trip organizer, MK Danny Danon (Likud), announced. “The visit proves without a doubt that we are not alone in our political conflict with the Palestinians,” he said.
The seven congressmen are Jim Jordan (Ohio), chairman of the Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight, and Government Spending subcommittee, and a member of the National Security, Homeland Defense and
Foreign Operations subcommittee; John Fleming (Louisiana), a member of the Strategic Forces and Tactical Air and Land Forces subcommittees; Peter Roskam (Illinois) and Doug Lamborn (Colorado), co-chairmen of the Republican Israel Caucus; Louie Gohmert (Texas), chairman of the Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security subcommittee; Randy Forbes (Virginia), chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a member of Armed Services Committee; and John Carter (Texas), co-chairman of the House Army Caucus.
In September, members of Congress introduced a series of pro-Israel bills. Senior Republican representative Joe Walsh, of the Illinois 8th district, proposed a bill that expresses U.S. support for a unilateral Israeli annexation of the West Bank in response to the unilateral Palestinian statehood bid. According to Walsh, 40 members of Congress are expected to sign the bill and push it through the ratification process.
Recently, both the Senate and the House of Representatives moved to suspend $200 million in U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority that had been appropriated for fiscal year 2011. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was among those who introduced the measure.
Kay Granger (R-TX), chairwoman of the House subcommittee that oversees foreign aid, ordered the hold in August “until the issue of statehood is resolved” at the U.N., her spokesman, Matt Leffingwell, said.
The Obama administration is lobbying Congress to unblock the $200 million in aid. State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the administration was in “intensive” discussions with the lawmakers who had put a hold on the money, saying this was a financial lifeline for the Palestinian government-in-waiting.
The seven congressmen are to attend Knesset debates and tour the country, including a helicopter flight over Judea and Samaria.