Deutch, Congressional Delegation Conclude Visit to Israel
Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) and a Congressional delegation concluded three days of meetings in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Ramallah with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, leading Knesset members Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, top Israeli security officials, and Palestinian and Israeli civil society organizations.
The group also visited Augusta Victoria Hospital, which has received funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and attended the IDC Herzliya Conference, where Congressman Deutch delivered a speech on the bipartisan strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship.
In March, Congressman Deutch introduced the United States-Israel Cooperation Enhancement and Regional Security Act to codify U.S. security assistance to Israel and foster cooperation in other areas such as cybersecurity and international development.
Congressman Deutch issued this statement after his visit:
“Our delegation delivered a strong message of bipartisan support for our strategic ally Israel. Amid complex challenges in the region — from Iran’s dangerous and destabilizing activities to instability in Syria to Hezbollah’s growing strength in Lebanon — we offered a bipartisan commitment to Israel’s security.
“Our trip also highlighted Israel’s vibrant democracy through our meetings with Israeli political leaders and civil society groups.
“We met with U.S. Ambassador David Friedman and embassy staff to hear directly from American officials about the breadth and depth of our bilateral relationship. We were also honored to attend the first Independence Day celebration hosted in Jerusalem by the U.S. Embassy.
“Our delegation also met with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and Palestinian business leaders in Ramallah. We discussed U.S. policy, the prospects for peace and economic development, and efforts to improve conditions for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza.
“Throughout our trip, we discussed legislative efforts to reinstate U.S. economic and security assistance which would foster stability, strengthen security for Israelis and Palestinians, and further the chances of Israeli-Palestinian peace.
“We also discussed the prospects for a two-state solution and my continued belief that two states, a secure Jewish State of Israel and a demilitarized Palestinian state, achieved through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians must remain the goal of Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians.”
Members of the Congressional Delegation in Israel:
• Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL), Foreign Affairs
Chairman, Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism
• Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Energy & Commerce
• Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Appropriations
• Congressman Randy Weber (R-TX), Transportation and Infrastructure
• Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Appropriations
• Congresswoman Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS), Small Business
• Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA), Energy and Commerce
• Congresswoman Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (R-PR), Transportation and Infrastructure
• Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Homeland Security
• Congressman Darren Soto (D-FL), Energy and Commerce