Daniel Bongino, the former U.S. Secret Service agent who is running for Senate, will travel to Israel next month to attend a rally being organized by the outgoing Fox commentator and conservative icon Glenn Beck, his campaign said.
Beck, who told a Christians United for Israel summit this week that defending Israel may be "the cause of our lifetime," is planning the rally for Aug. 24. Beck invited Bongino, a Republican running against Democratic Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, to attend the event.
"Israel is one of our staunchest allies in an increasingly volatile world," Bongino said in a statement. "From Israel's inception it has promoted freedom and democracy for all of its citizens and stands as a beacon of freedom in a region of the world that cries out for such.”
Conservative Republicans have been particularly vocal on Israel since President Barack Obama suggested during a speech in May that the boundaries in place before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war should serve as a starting point for peace negotiations – a position that angered Israeli leaders.
But it’s not clear whether Bongino can distinguish himself from Cardin on the issue. Cardin is a long-established defender of Israel who has enjoyed support from groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The group recently praised Cardin for co-sponsoring a non-binding resolution approved by the Senate that threatens to cut off U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority if its leaders try to circumvent direct negotiations with Israel.
“We should never let the international community divide the strength between the United States and Israel,” Cardin said during an address to the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs on June 27. “We need to help Israel from so many countries that want to isolate it."
Asked whether Bongino would use campaign money to pay for the trip, a campaign spokeswoman said details are still being worked out with Beck's staff.