Jewish groups to U.S. House: Pass resolution in support of two-state solution

The resolution, which was introduced in April, is cosponsored by 132 House Democrats.

By OMRI NAHMIAS
June 20, 2019 20:42
2 minute read.
Democratic U.S. House committee chairmen Nadler and other members discuss investigations into Trump

Democratic U.S. House committee chairmen Nadler, Engel, Cummings, Schiff, Waters and McGovern hold a news conference to discuss their investigations into the Trump administration. (photo credit: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST)

 
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WASHINGTON – Ten progressive Jewish groups sent a letter calling on House leadership to vote on House Resolution 326, which supports the two-state solution. The resolution, which was introduced in April, is cosponsored by 132 House Democrats.

The resolution “expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that only a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can ensure Israel’s survival as a secure Jewish and democratic state and fulfill the legitimate aspirations for a Palestinian state,” the letter says. It also expresses the sense that “any US proposals that fail to expressly endorse a two-state solution will likely put a peaceful end to the conflict further out of reach.”

The organizations that are standing behind the letter are Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, Hashomer Hatzair, Jewish Labor Committee, J Street, National Council of Jewish Women, New Israel Fund, Partners for Progressive Israel, Reconstructing Judaism and T’ruah.

They sent the letter on Wednesday to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, as well as to the chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

According to the letter, “the goal of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been longtime, bipartisan US policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The resolution references the Clinton Parameters, the George W. Bush Road Map and the Obama/Kerry Principles, all of which provided frameworks for negotiations toward a two-state solution.

“Consideration by the House of Representatives of this important legislation is an urgent matter,” they wrote. “The Trump administration has made clear its openness to Israeli annexation and opposition to a two-state solution.”

They mentioned US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman’s remarks about Israeli annexation of the West Bank as a reason for urgency.

“Disastrously, the Trump administration’s actions have matched these words,” the letter continued. “By endorsing Israeli claims to Jerusalem without recognition of Palestinian claims and outside the framework of a final-status agreement, [US] President [Donald] Trump set the stage for the Palestinian leadership to cut off relations with the US.

“His administration has gone on to close the PLO mission in Washington and the US consulate in Jerusalem; terminate US aid to UNRWA and attempt to take the issue of Palestinian refugees ‘off the table’; cut off remaining humanitarian aid to the West Bank and Gaza; and recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Meanwhile, Trump has stood by as Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu’s government has opened the floodgates to future settlement construction.”

Earlier this month, a group of eight Democratic senators introduced a resolution that reaffirms the United States’ commitment to the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and notes “that Israeli annexation of territory in the West Bank would undermine peace and Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state.”

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley introduced the resolution, and two Democratic presidential hopefuls – Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders – joined as cosponsors.

“Unilateral annexation of portions of the West Bank would jeopardize prospects for a two-state solution, harm Israel’s relationship with its Arab neighbors, threaten Israel’s Jewish and democratic identity, and undermine Israel’s security,” the resolution says.

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