trip talk

Hakeem Jeffries takes House Democrats on AIPAC-affiliated trip to Israel

The Democratic leader is leading a group of Democrats, many of them freshmen, to the Jewish state this week

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) speaks during his weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol Building on July 14, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) are leading a delegation of 24 House Democrats to Israel this week, organized by the AIPAC-linked American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF).

According to a draft list of attendees viewed by JI, participants on the trip include Reps. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Becca Balint (D-VT), Yadira Caraveo (D-CO), Jasmine Crockett (D-TX), Don Davis (D-NC), Chris Deluzio (D-PA), Robert Garcia (D-CA), Dan Goldman (D-NY), Greg Landsman (D-OH), Rob Menendez (D-NJ), Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), Wiley Nickel (D-NC), Brittany Pettersen (D-CO), Pat Ryan (D-NY), Andrea Salinas (D-OR), Hillary Scholten (D-MI), Eric Sorensen (D-IL), Emilia Sykes (D-OH), Shri Thanedar (D-MI) and Jill Tokuda (D-HI).

Aguilar is the third-ranking member of Democratic House leadership. This is Jeffries’ second visit to the Jewish state this year. Hoyer is taking his 20th trip to Israel after leading AIEF freshman delegations for years as a member of Democratic leadership.

Attendees on this year’s trip include numerous House progressives, including Thanedar, who was opposed by more than $4 million in spending from AIPAC’s United Democracy Project super PAC in his 2022 primary. Democratic Majority for Israel endorsed Crockett’s opponent in her primary, while Crockett had been endorsed by then-Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), herself a critic of Israel. 

“With this trip, House Democrats reaffirm our commitment to the special relationship between the United States and Israel, one anchored in our shared democratic values and mutual geopolitical interests,” Jeffries, who will be taking his second trip to Israel this year, said in a statement

“We will learn ways Congress can continue strengthening this alliance and enable peace and stability between Israel and its neighbors. As we listen and learn, we reiterate our ironclad commitment to the safety and security of Israel and to the existence of Israel as a prosperous and Jewish democratic state.”

According to the release from Jeffries’ office, topics will include countering Iran’s nuclear program, the two-state solution, judicial reform, terrorism and the Abraham Accords.

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