A delegation of US senators that arrived in Israel on Tuesday refused to meet with members of two Israeli far-right parties that are in the government coalition, Axios news website reported.
The request was reportedly made through the office of Democratic Senator Jacky Rosen, who is co-leading the bipartisan delegation along with Republican Senator James Lankford.
“Israeli officials told Axios that ahead of the trip, Rosen and her team made it clear they do not want members of Ben-Gvir’s Jewish Power or Smotrich’s Religious Zionism parties to attend any of their meetings, especially those in the Knesset,” Barak Ravid wrote in his report for Axios.
According to the Times of Israel, the delegation also includes Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet and Mark Kelly, along with Republicans Dan Sullivan and Ted Budd.
In response to this move, Israeli far-right Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir accused Axios reporter of engaging in a politically-motivated campaign against him.
“In the last few weeks when there were quite a few requests from senators, ambassadors, consuls and international officials to meet with the minister, [the reporter] again chose to campaign against Minister Ben-Gvir,” Ben-Gvir’s office said in a statement.
(The Palestine Chronicle)