A delegation of American senators is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Sunday. The senators are members of a joint Senate-Knesset committee headed by Senator Jon Kyl, who is close to President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
Member of Knesset Yuval Steinitz (Likud) is hosting the delegation. Together with Senator Kyl, he established the committee four years ago to strengthen defense cooperation between the two countries.
"We formed the committee four years ago, when I was Chairman of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. It is the only joint committee between the American Congress and another country," said Steinitz.
"We think that it is important that the members of the delegation feel the connection and understand Israel better. They are mostly non-Jewish and we want them to feel some obligation to the country," he added.
"The ability of the Senate and the Congress to promote issues is just as important as that of the American administration. They will be briefed by Mossad Officials about Iran, Hizbullah and global Jihad," he said.
"The committee has had major achievements and we hope that this visit will lead to additional feats," he concluded. One of the committee's successes to date is receiving funding for a project to develop a rocket-interception system.
The two-day visit includes meetings with Opposition Chairman MK Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Chief of the Mossad. Later on they will also meet Deputy President and Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
The visit will end with dinner with Coalition Chairman MK Avigdor Itzchaky, MK Tzachi Hangebi, Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Robert Auman and Nathan Sharansky.