Gottheimer returns from bipartisan congressional trip to Israel
Discussions with Israeli Prime Minister, Political Leaders, and Palestinian Authority
NEW JERSEY — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) returned from a bipartisan congressional trip to Israel with seven Members of Congress — four Democrats and three Republicans. Gottheimer met with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Alternate Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Head of the Opposition Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the United Arab List Party Mansour Abbas, and Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority Mohammad Shtayyeh, as well as national security experts and business start-ups.
Gottheimer also met with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides and Bahrain Ambassador to Israel Khaled Yousif Al Jalahma. The trip occurred during Israel’s change in government.
Gottheimer participated in discussions with senior level officials regarding: 1) strengthening the historic U.S.-Israel relationship to improve defense and security cooperation; 2) coordinating on combatting global antisemitism; 3) making progress toward regional normalization and economic and security cooperation stemming from the Abraham Accords; 4) supporting the independent investigation into the tragic killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh; and, 5) countering the threat of Iran and its terrorist proxies to Israel, the region, and the U.S.
The group also traveled to the Lebanon border to see a Hezbollah terror tunnel, and toured and received briefings on military installations including missile defense systems Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow 3.
“Our congressional trip showed our historic ally, Israel, that efforts to strengthen and maintain our nations’ strategic relationship are bipartisan and more important than ever. It was an honor to meet with many leaders and have the opportunity to hear their many perspectives. Despite the significant challenges faced across the region and the world, it was refreshing to see how closely these leaders are broadly aligned,” Gottheimer said. “There is palatable excitement around the Abraham Accords and all that it offers the region, and of course, deep concerns regarding the threat of Iranian nuclear capabilities and its terrorist proxies. We must remember that Israel’s national security is key to America’s national security, and to our fight against terror, including against Hamas, Hezbollah, and ISIS. I look forward to making sure that the U.S.-Israel relationship remains bipartisan and durable.”
This bipartisan congressional trip came shortly before President Joe Biden’s scheduled visit to Israel next week.
The trip was sponsored by the American Israel Educational Foundation (AIEF), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, and Gottheimer was joined by Reps. Fred Upton (R-MI), Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Don Bacon (R-NE), Ron Kind (D-WI), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), and Michael Turner (R-OH), as well as Chairman of the Board of AIPAC Mort Fridman, a Teaneck, NJ native from New Jersey’s Fifth District.