By Josh Ruebner | 5 August 2019
MONDOWEISS — House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) landed today in Israel with 41 other Democratic Representatives for a week-long, all-expenses-paid junket sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), the educational branch of the lobbying organization American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Although the delegation also will visit the Israeli-occupied Palestinian West Bank and meet with Palestinians, the Israel-centric nature of the trip is evident from Hoyer’s characterization of it.
“I am pleased to join so many House Democrats in traveling to Israel to reaffirm our support for a critical U.S. ally and to continue learning about the opportunities and the challenges facing Israel and the Middle East,” Hoyer stated. “Seeing the region firsthand and meeting with key Israeli and Palestinian leaders gives Members insights into a region that is vital both to our own national interests and to global security.”
However, in addition to being wary of the one-sided narrative presented to them on this delegation, Representatives also should be aware that they may be unwittingly participating in a delegation which violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the law on congressional travel. […]