WASHINGTON (JTA) — A bipartisan delegation of U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers is in Israel this week.
The delegation, including Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), John Barrow (D-Ga.), Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), Ben Chandler (D-Ky.), and Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), had meetings planned with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Tzipi Livni.
The Congress members also planned to tour areas in Israel subject to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
"The recent upheavals across the Middle East will pose new challenges to the mutual security interests of the United States and Israel, and I look forward to having frank discussions about Israel’s safety and security and the ever-present threat posed by Iran’s nuclear weapons program,” Deutch, who is leading the trip, said in an April 22 statement.
Netanyahu reportedly will present a plan for reviving peace talks when he addresses Congress next month.
President Obama may present his own plan before Netanyahu; the Israeli leader is hoping to shore up congressional support against the administration’s pressure on Israel for concessions.