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McCarthy, Jeffries to visit Israel this month

The two House party leaders are scheduled to visit at the end of April

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) receives the gavel from House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) after McCarthy was elected Speaker in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 07, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) are scheduled to visit Israel later this month.

McCarthy is set to visit the Jewish state between April 30 and May 2, while Jeffries will visit between April 22 and 24, according to two people familiar with the planning for the trips. The visits appear to be the first foreign travel for the new House speaker and minority leader since taking office earlier this year.

The visits bracket the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of Israel’s independence, Yom Ha’atzmaut, which begins the evening of April 25.

Both McCarthy and Jeffries most recently visited Israel last year with the AIPAC-linked American Israel Education Foundation.

Jeffries told Jewish Insider during that visit that the then-Israeli governing coalition, led by former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, was “a political miracle,” adding that “The Middle East is a tough region with seemingly intractable challenges, but I left our meetings with the Israeli government hopeful and cautiously optimistic about the future.”

Amid criticisms of Israel’s judicial reform plans from the Biden administration and some congressional Democrats, McCarthy recently offered strong support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu is an Israeli patriot, statesman, and most importantly, a great friend of the USA,” McCarthy said in a statement. “Free societies have vigorous and open debate. Israel is no exception. I support [Netanyahu], and America’s support for Israel’s strong, vibrant democracy is unwavering.”

McCarthy has previously visited Israel in 2019, 2017, 2013 and 2011, while Jeffries has visited in 2019, 2018 and 2013.  

The upcoming trips are not AIEF-sponsored, AIPAC spokesperson Marshall Wittmann told JI. Neither congressional office responded to a request for comment.

Jewish Insider’s Melissa Weiss contributed reporting.

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