Israel Allies in US Congress Express Concern Over Future of Two-State Solution
Four of Israel’s most dedicated supporters in the US Congress on Friday expressed concern that the Jewish state may annex the West Bank, as results from Israel’s election earlier this week confirmed the likelihood of a right-wing government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“As strong, life-long supporters of Israel, a U.S.-Israel relationship rooted in our shared values, and the two-state solution, we are greatly concerned by the possibility of Israel taking unilateral steps to annex the West Bank,” said a joint statement from Democratic representatives Eliot Engel (NY), Chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Nita Lowey (NY), Chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, Ted Deutch (Fl.), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism, and Brad Schneider (Il.)
The statement asserted that “every one of Israel’s frontiers plays an important role in its security, and Israel’s ability to guard itself from threats is non-negotiable.” It added that the four legislators hoped “that any security measures are implemented within the context of preserving the eventual possibility of a two-state solution.”
The statement reiterated that “two states for two peoples, negotiated directly by the two sides, with mutually agreed upon land swaps, is the best option to achieve a Jewish, democratic, secure Israel living side-by-side with a democratic, de-militarized Palestinian state.”
“This will not be easy,” the statement acknowledged. “Palestinian leadership has been unwilling to accept any reasonable peace proposal or even to negotiate seriously toward a solution. To paraphrase Abba Eban, the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. And instead of negotiating, they have pursued unilateral statehood through the United Nations.”
They concluded: “Our fear is that such unilateral steps—whether from Israelis or Palestinians—would push the parties farther from a final, negotiated settlement.”