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For critics of the Israeli government, news that 20 percent of the U.S. Congress is heading to the Jewish state during the three-week recess is a pretty clear sign that the U.S. does not use an even hand in the Middle East. While many members of Congress scheduled visits to the Palestinian territories as well, the Israel trip is sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation, a group affiliated with the pro-Israel lobby American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
They signed up 55 Republicans and 26 Democrats, with Minority Whip Steny Hoyer leading the Democrats and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor leading a cohort of Republicans. The first group is scheduled to arrive today. The large group of vacationers (The Atlantic’s Jeffery Goldberg says the numbers “seem even higher than usual”) didn’t go unnoticed in the foreign affairs blogosphere.