Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, will address the Israeli Knesset, before heading to Syria. Dalia Itzik, the Knesset’s first woman speaker, invited Pelosi, the first woman House speaker, when they met earlier this month on Itzik’s U.S. tour. Pelosi, who arrived in Israel on Friday, will speak Sunday night. She also will meet Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and others during her tour. The White House called Pelosi’s plan to continue on to Syria a “really bad idea.” Bush administration policy is to isolate Bashar Assad’s regime until it stops backing terrorists in Lebanon and the Palestinian areas and until it prevents anti-U.S. insurgents from crossing its border into Iraq. Democratic leaders back engagement with Syria and Iran as a means of containing the Iraq civil war. “We think that someone should take a step back and think about the message that it sends, and the message that it sends to our allies,” Dana Perino, the White House spokeswoman, said of the Syria visit. “I’m not sure what she’s hoping to accomplish there. I know that Assad probably really wants people to come and have a photo opportunity and have tea with him, and have discussions about where they’re coming from, but we do think that’s a really bad idea.”Pelosi’s delegation also will visit Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.
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