Rep. Van Orden joins Jewish organization on trip to Israel to show solidarity amid war

The Israel Heritage foundation is a nonprofit that fights against antisemitism and for Israel's sovereignty.
Israel soldiers, Sderot, Israel, Oct. 28, 2023

Rep. Derrick Van Orden, R-Wis., joined the Israel Heritage Foundation on a trip to Israel to show solidarity with the soldiers and civilians there. 

He was on a "personal fact-finding trip" and during the visit, he met up with Rabbi David Katz who was also in Israel at the time.

"The esteemed Congressman Derrick Van Orden a retired United States Navy SEAL & U.S. representative for Wisconsins Republican Party, signs the Yad Vashem guest book as Rabbi David Katz Executive Director of Israel Heritage Foundation looks on," the Israel Heritage Foundation wrote on the social media platform X.

The Israel Heritage foundation is a nonprofit that fights against antisemitism and for Israel's sovereignty.

Rabbi David Katz, the group's executive director, described Van Orden as someone who was “determined to do something positive” for the IDF. 

According to a report from Breitbart, Van Orden gave blood while in Israel and shook the hand of every dispatcher he encountered. 

“Here is this congressman, who just lost his 32-year-old daughter to cancer two months ago, and he is giving blood," Rabbi Katz said, according to the outlet. "Despite his personal pain, Rep. Van Orden didn’t want to give up his trip to Israel to see the land and the people.”

Van Orden, who served the U.S. as a Navy SEAL before coming to Congress, wrote in a press release that he went to Israel to see firsthand what was going on. 

"I am there to witness what has and is taking place so that I can speak from an informed position to categorically refute members of the Democratic party and others who are actively denying the horrific acts that have been, and continue to be, committed as you read this," he wrote. 

It has been almost one month since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel. The House recently passed a bill that would provide $14.3 billion in aid for Israel. President Biden has said he would veto the bill, which passed in the House with a vote of 226-196 with 12 Democrats voting for it. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the bill is unserious and has no chance of passing in the Senate.