J Street welcomes letter urging DNC to oppose annexation on Party platform

'The actions of the Trump administration have upended decades of bipartisan US support for a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict'

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden gestures after disembarking from a plane upon landing at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, Israel March 8, 2016 (photo credit: REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden gestures after disembarking from a plane upon landing at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, Israel March 8, 2016
(photo credit: REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)
WASHINGTON – A group of 32 foreign relations experts, many of whom served under the Obama-Biden administration, sent a letter on Monday to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), urging Party leaders “to ensure that the Israel/Palestine section of the party’s platform expresses support for the security and rights of both Israelis and Palestinians.”
Among the people who signed the letter: Martin Indyk, former US Ambassador to Israel and US Special Envoy for Israeli – Palestinian Negotiations; Daniel Kurtzer, former US Ambassador to Israel; Rob Malley, Former Special Assistant to former US president Barack Obama; Ned Price, former Special Assistant to Obama; and Ben Rhodes, former Deputy National Security Adviser.
“The actions of the Trump administration have upended decades of bipartisan US support for a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the letter reads. “In his ‘Deal of the Century,’ President Trump has provided the Israeli government with a green light to annex all West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley and maintain its occupation in perpetuity, making a sovereign, independent and contiguous Palestinian state impossible,” they added.
“These moves imperil Israel’s future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people, undermine the US-Israel special relationship and harm Palestinians,” they argued. “Past party platforms have rightly stated a commitment to Israel’s security and included condemnations of threats and actions against our ally, in addition to embracing a two-state outcome.”
They urged the DNC to include in its platform “a commitment to a resolution of the conflict that ensures both Israel’s security and future as a Jewish and democratic state with equal rights for all its citizens, as well as Palestinian rights, including self-determination, security and freedom.”
“It should include clear opposition to ongoing occupation, settlement expansion and any form of unilateral annexation of territory in the West Bank as well as clear opposition to violence, terrorism and incitement from all sides,” they added.
The progressive Jewish group J Street posted the letter on its website, saying it “welcomed” its content. “This important and timely letter comes as a new Israeli governing agreement has likely opened the door to illegal, unilateral annexation in the West Bank – with the approval of the Trump administration – as soon as July 1,” J Street said in a statement.