J Street sends first Mideast congressional mission

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The first J Street-sponsored congressional mission is touring Israel, Jordan and Palestinian-controlled areas.

Five Congress members are participating in the tour this week sponsored by the dovish pro-Israel group. They are U.S. Reps. Lois Capps (D-Calif.), Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.), Bob Filner (D-Calif.), Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio), and Donald Payne (D-N.J.).

The mission "will meet with Israeli government and opposition leaders as well as key regional leaders, including Jordanian King Abdullah II and Palestinian National Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad," said a J Street statement. "The delegation will travel widely in Israel, the Palestinian Territories, and Jordan taking a close look at the situation on the ground through the eyes of policy makers and civil society leaders."

The trip is sponsored by the J Street Education Fund, a tax-exempt affiliate of the lobby.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee similarly structures its congressional tours through a tax-exempt affiliate, the American Israel Education Fund.

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