Oct 13, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Schumer to lead bipartisan Senate visit to Israel

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is leading a bipartisan group of senators to Israel this weekend, his spokesperson said.

Why it matters: The senators are set to meet with at least three top-ranking Israeli officials to discuss a planned military assistance package to help the country in its fight against Hamas.

  • Top U.S. lawmakers have floated a package that pairs the funding with aid to Ukraine and Taiwan, as well as additional money to shore up border security, Axios reported.

What they’re saying: The spokesperson said the trip is meant to “show the United States' unwavering support for Israel,” noting that Schumer is “the highest ranking Jewish elected official in the United States history.”

  • Schumer will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former Defense Minister and opposition leader Benny Gantz and President Isaac Herzog, the spokesperson said.
  • The lawmakers and the Israeli leaders will “discuss what resources the United States can provide to support Israel on all fronts.”

The backdrop: Netanyahu and Gantz agreed to form an emergency unity government earlier this week in order to quell domestic tensions and focus the government’s energy on fighting Hamas, Axios’ Barak Ravid reported.

  • Schumer, for his part, cut a congressional member delegation to Asia short this week in order to respond to the unfolding situation in Israel — though his office had initially said he would spend the weekend in New York.
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