Boehner to visit Israel

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, will soon travel to Israel.

Boehner “looks forward to visiting the country, discussing our shared priorities for peace and security in the region, and further strengthening the bond between the United States and Israel,” his office said over the weekend in a statement to National Public Radio.

The announcement comes just days after Netanyahu was reelected March 17 to a third consecutive term, and amid a sharp deterioration in relations between the Netanyahu and Obama governments over Israeli-Palestinian talks and Iran policy.

Boehner and Netanyahu, and the Israeli ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, organized Netanyahu’s March 3 speech to Congress, in which Netanyahu lambasted President Barack Obama’s Iran policy. They did not inform the White House of the invitation until the morning it was issued, and did not inform congressional Democrats.

NPR said Boehner would visit during the two-week recess starting March 30.