(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – AIPAC and J Street backed separate letters in the US Senate Tuesday
welcoming US President Barack Obama’s trip to Israel, with the former
emphasizing Israel’s security challenges and the latter calling for US support
for a two-state solution.
Click here for full JPost coverage of Obama's visit to Israel
The AIPAC-backed letter by Sens. Ben Cardin
(D-Maryland) and Susan Collins (RMaine) begins by labeling Palestinian
unilateral efforts at the UN “unacceptable” and urging Obama to clearly reject
this strategy as well as de-legitimization of Israel.
The letter also
refers to the need for Palestinians to stop incitement and renounce Hamas, and
stresses that the current upheaval in Arab countries is “not directly related to
the peace process” even as a peace deal remains important.
garnered more than 60 signatures, according to AIPAC.
The other letter,
which more than 200 J Street supporters from around the country lobbied for
during visits to Capitol Hill Tuesday, opens by calling on Obama to reiterate
his commitment to both Israel’s security and a two-state solution during his
two-day visit, which begins Wednesday.
“It is essential for you to
reaffirm on your upcoming trip that finding a pathway to peace remains a
priority for your administration,” states the letter, sponsored by Sen. Dianne
J Street said that 24 senators had signed onto
the missive before it was sent to the White House before press time
Both Senate letters speak about Israel’s security needs and the
strong bond between the US and Israel in a difficult regional
More than 100 members of the House of Representatives also
signed a letter to Obama expressing strong support for his decision to visit
“It is crucial for Israelis to know that America stands with them
and will support their sacrifices for peace,” the letter states. “And it is
vital that Palestinians understand that circumventing direct negotiations,
including attempts to upgrade membership status in the United Nations and the
International Criminal Court, will not move their people forward toward
The message was sponsored by a bipartisan group of
congressmen led by Peter Roskam (R-Illinois) and Henry Waxman
Members also addressed the issue of Iran.
your hope of finding a negotiated solution to Iran’s nuclear program, but also
your clear statements that all options are and must remain on the table,” they
wrote. “And we must continue to protect Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge and
support Israel’s inherent right to self-defense.”Find live Twitter updates from our reporters covering the Obama visit, here: