Schumer to lead bipartisan Senate group’s visit to Israel

October 13, 2023

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was headed to Israel this weekend, to lead a bipartisan group of the upper chamber to Israel in a show of “unwavering support” for its war against Hamas.

The Senators’ trip was coming on the heels of visits to Israel by Cabinet Secretaries Antony Blinken of the State Department and Lloyd Austin of the Defense Department.

Schumer’s office said he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and senior opposition figure Benny Gantz, who is part of a newly unified wartime cabinet in Israel.

The Majority Leader’s office has not so far named the other Senators who will be traveling with him.

Because the House of Representatives is currently without a Speaker, both chambers of Congress have been inhibited from passing any legislation—including a resolution to condemn this past Saturday’s terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas, or to approve appropriations for additional military aid to Israel and Ukraine.

Even so, U.S. officials have been in talks with Israeli officials about what kind of aid they need to defend against Hamas and avoid an escalation of the conflict in the Middle East. 

Further, the Senate is set to debate this coming Tuesday how much money and equipment to send to Israel as part of an aid package that would be tied to military aid for Ukraine in its war against Russia’s invasion.

The U.S. Senators were set to visit Israel on a day that could prove quite bloody; the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has ordered the 1.1 million residents of Northern Gaza to flee within 24 hours—an undertaking the United Nations has said it considers “impossible”—ahead of an expected ground incursion in the territory.

PHOTO: Schumer on the Senate floor last month

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