Schumer to visit Israel this weekend

The Senate majority leader cut short a planned visit to Asia earlier this week in response to the crisis in the Middle East

Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) leaves a Senate briefing on China on February 15, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is making a visit to Israel this weekend in the wake of Hamas’ massive terrorist attack earlier this week to show his support, Schumer spokesperson Angelo Roefaro told Jewish Insider.

Schumer is set to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, National Unity Party leader Minister Benny Gantz, now a member of the emergency unity government, and President Isaac Herzog to discuss resources and support the U.S. can provide to Israel. Other senators are expected to join Schumer in Israel.

Schumer spent the first few days of the crisis in Israel in Asia on a pre-planned trip, but cut that visit short in response to the situation in Israel and Gaza. His visit to Israel will follow trips by Secretary of State Tony Blinken on Thursday and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Friday.

This will be Schumer’s second visit to Israel this year. The trip comes just ahead of the Senate’s return to Washington next week. It has been in recess since the crisis in Israel began, and is expected to see a flurry of activity next week, including a resolution in support of Israel and a fast-tracked confirmation hearing for former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, the U.S. ambassador to Israel-designate.

An individual familiar with the situation said Schumer is working to arrange additional charter flights out of Israel for Americans, a push that he’s also making publicly. The administration announced earlier on Thursday that it’s setting up such flights; many U.S. airlines have suspended flights to and from Israel for the coming weeks.

During Schumer’s Asia trip, he highlighted the situation in Israel with China and South Korea’s presidents, taking credit for pressing China to issue a stronger statement on the situation in Israel.

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