WASHINGTON (JTA) — A delegation of Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the minority leader, arrived in Israe and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahul.
The sides discussed "U.S.-Israel relations and regional security issues," said a statement Sunday, after the delegation arrived.
"The delegation appreciated hearing the Prime Minister’s views and told him we look forward to his thoughts on how to move the peace process at this critical point in Middle East history when he addresses a Joint Meeting of the Congress later this month," said the statement.
Netanyahu raised eyebrows among Democrats last month when Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the House Speaker, announced that the Israeli leader would address Congress. Such visits are usually coordinated with congressional Democrats and the White House.
The delegation of nine includes Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the Democratic House election campaign, and Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W. Va.), a tough Israel critic.
It arrived on Israel’s Memorial Day, and on the eve of its Independence Day.
"Our delegation gathered together at nightfall to observe the beginning of Israel’s Memorial Day," said said the delegation’s statement.
"On this day, we remember all of the Israeli sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, who have gone to war and never come home. And we remember all of the victims of terror lost in acts of violence."