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A group of Democratic senators are introducing a new Senate resolution expressing continued support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The resolution highlights the U.S.-Israel relationship while acknowledging the Palestinian right to self-determination. It seeks to renew commitment to a two-state solution as the best way to achieve a lasting peace between the two parties, the senators said.
The senators involved include: Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, and Elizabeth Warren, along with Sens Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.).
Warren and Sanders also are among nearly two dozen running for president as Democrats.
The Trump administration’s anticipated Middle East “peace plan,” drafted by the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, may not adhere to the principles of past roadmaps for peace that reflected longstanding, bipartisan U.S. policy promoting a negotiated two-state solution that supports the self-determination of both Israelis and Palestinians, according to the senators.
“The Trump Administration has never missed an opportunity to undermine a potential two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians,” said Sen. Warren. “This resolution calls on us to push towards both self-determination for Palestinians and security for Israel.”
The Democrats’ resolution notes the strong alliance between the United States and Israel, the long history of support from American presidents of both parties for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the fact that administrations of both parties have recognized settlement expansion as an impediment to peace.
The resolution calls for U.S. policy to support preserving conditions conducive to a negotiated two-state solution, and to explicitly endorse a two-state solution as the U.S.’s goal in peace negotiations. It also notes that unilateral annexation of portions of the West Bank would jeopardize prospects for a two-state solution and could undermine Israel’s security, and that a two-state solution is the best hope to preserve a secure Israel while fulfilling Palestinians’ right to self-determination. The resolution is supported by J Street, the Israel Policy Forum, and Mercy Corps.
“The United States needs to be an honest broker in the Middle East. We need to defend Israel’s right to live in peace and security, while at the same time, end the occupation and protect Palestinians’ right to security and self-determination,” said Sen. Sanders. “I am proud to cosponsor this resolution to make clear that a two-state solution based on international law remains the best path to achieving a just and lasting peace, and is firmly in the interest of the United States.”
Download Resolution Text (PDF) here.