Head of Knesset-Congressional caucus calls on Trump to pressure Abbas

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May 22, 2017 17:43

Forer says “Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish State is a prerequisite for ending the conflict.

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Abbas and Trump

Abbas and Trump. (photo credit:REUTERS)

US President Donald Trump must demand that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Knesset Israel Victory Caucus chairman MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu) said on Monday.

The Congressional branch of the joint Knesset-Congressional caucus was formed last month under the leadership of Reps. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Bill Johnson (R-OH) and has more than a dozen members. The caucuses were designed to encourage finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinians conflict that is advantageous for Israel and to “raise awareness in Israel for an Israeli victory over its enemies.”

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Forer said “Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is a prerequisite for ending the conflict. As long as the Palestinian leadership refuses such recognition, it signals a continuing dream of eliminating the State of Israel.”

Johnson said the world, including Abbas, “must accept that Israel has a right to exist – and that is non-negotiable.”

“Our initial CIVC meeting was very positive, and I am committed to spearheading the charge that makes it crystal clear – America will ensure that Israel not only survives, but thrives. I look forward to working with my counterparts in the Knesset Israel Victory Caucus,” Johnson stated.

The CIVC plans to visit Israel in July for a joint meeting with its Israeli counterpart.

“The United States and Israel share a strong friendship that will only be strengthened by the formation of a companion Israel Victory Caucus in the Knesset. Israel is here to stay and our policies must reflect this fact,” DeSantis said.

“I look forward to working together to advance policies that recognize Israel’s permanence and that further the political, military, and economic ties between the United States and Israel.”

Forer’s demand comes on the heels of the Knesset’s authorization of Jewish nation-state bill in a preliminary vote. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly supported the bill, which declares – among other articles – that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people and anchors the anthem, flag and state symbol in law. Critics say the bill would put Jewish Israelis at an advantage over non-Jewish citizens.

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