US House passes resolution supporting two-state solution

The resolution comes amid recent discussion in Israel regarding the possibility of annexing sections of the West Bank in Area C, including the Jordan Valley and some Israeli settlements.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) administers the oath of office to House members and delegates of the U.S. House of Representatives at the start of the 116th Congress inside the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 3, 2019 (photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) administers the oath of office to House members and delegates of the U.S. House of Representatives at the start of the 116th Congress inside the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 3, 2019
(photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)
The US House of Representatives approved on Friday a resolution expressing support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while also warning Israel against any attempts toward annexation of territory in the West Bank.
The resolution was non-binding and was an expression of disapproval aimed at the Trump administration’s reversal of US policy regarding the legality of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The resolution passed 226-188, and split according to party, with most Democrats voting in favor, and most Republicans opposed.
“For more than 20 years, American presidents from both political parties and Israeli prime ministers have supported reaching a two-state solution that establishes a democratic Palestinian state to coexist peacefully and constructively side-by-side with a democratic Israel,” said Jewish Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, from Maryland’s 8th congressional district.
“Middle East peace talks have favored the two-state solution and opposed settlement expansions, moves toward unilateral annexation of territories,” Raskin added. “Any US proposal that fails to endorse a two-state solution will put a peaceful end of the conflict out of reach.”
Democrat Rashida Tlaib voted against the resolution, stating that “this resolution not only endorses an unrealistic, unattainable solution, one that Israel has made impossible, but also one that legitimizes inequality, ethnic discrimination and inhumane conditions.”
“Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu and the Likud Party have actively fought against a two-state solution and took steps to ensure its demise,” she added. “They increased their illegal taking of Palestinian homes and imprisoned more Palestinian children than ever before and are building more walls.”
Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, known for being a supporter of Israel, in reference to the resolution, said that it is a “restatement of America’s policy” of supporting the two-state solution.
The resolution comes amid recent discussion in Israel regarding the possibility of annexing sections of the West Bank under Area C, including the Jordan Valley and some Israeli settlements, and the recent decision of the Trump administration regarding the legality of settlements in the area.
Jack Rosen, president of the American Jewish Congress, welcomed the vote.
“I want to thank Speaker Pelosi, the 192 Democrat co-sponsors, and the 226 bipartisan legislators who voted for this important resolution,” he said, “I want to also thank Representatives [Tom] Reed, [Josh] Gottheimer, and [Ted] Deutch for their tireless work in support of the Amendments to the resolution.”
Rosen referred to an amendment that the lawmakers introduced to clarify that the US should not condition aid to Israel to make the government change its policies. A few Democratic presidential candidates recently voiced support in such a move.
“This vote officially puts to rest the splintering view of adding new conditions on aid to Israel and reinforces our historic commitment to preserving a two-state solution,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “We know that this aid helps save countless lives, and we know the United States is better off when Israel is fully equipped to defend itself.”
“This language is absolutely necessary because of the extreme and misguided views of some, especially several currently running for our nation’s highest office, who seemingly believe that assistance to Israel should be held hostage until Israel makes concessions according to their beliefs – including how Israel treats Gaza, which is controlled by the foreign terrorist organization, Hamas,” he continued. “We must stand together in rejecting that harmful view.”
A number of progressive groups released statements over the weekend, welcoming the resolution.
Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, said that “With this vote, the majority of lawmakers have rejected the Trump administration’s embrace of the Israeli settlement movement’s agenda, which undermines US interests, imperils Israel’s future and tramples on Palestinian rights. They’ve made clear that strong support for Israel’s security must go hand-in-hand with opposition to annexation, holding the line against settlement expansion and active American leadership towards a two-state solution.”
“This resolution serves as an unmistakable statement from the House of Representatives in support of a Jewish, democratic and secure Israel, and is the first congressional measure to specifically point to West Bank annexation as a danger to that vision,” Israel Policy Forum said in a statement. “We urge the Senate to join the House, in a bipartisan manner, in standing up for Israel’s security and the future of the Zionist dream. In the current political environment, where dangerous West Bank annexation initiatives are being routinely proposed, it is critical that both houses of Congress make clear that the two-state solution supported by Republican and Democratic presidents and both parties for two decades remains American policy, and that annexation is an existential threat to Israel’s fundamental security.”



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