New US Mideast strategy needed, says ‘Israel Victory Caucus’


( Republican members of Congress and pro-Israel activists organized an “Israel Victory Caucus” to press for revision of America’s Mideast negotiating strategy. 

Then-Secretary of State John Kerry (center), then-Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (left) and Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat address reporters in Washington in July 2013, during the most recent round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. Credit: State Department.

GOP Reps. Ron DeSantis (Fla.) and Bill Johnson (Ohio) are co-chairing the new caucus. 

At a Capitol Hill launch event Thursday, DeSantis said because American-sponsored negotiations since the 1980s have failed, the time has come for “a new U.S. approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ending the emphasis on Israel making ‘painful concessions’ and instead putting the onus on Palestinians—they must give up the goal of destroying Israel and recognize Israel as the Jewish state.”

The left-wing lobby group J Street assailed the Israel Victory Caucus before its launch, charging that the Middle East Forum (MEF), the Philadelphia-based think tank promoting the new caucus, is undermining peace by promoting the idea “that Israel can only make peace by defeating the Palestinians.” MEF responded, “Wars end when one side gives up. Which side do you want to win, J Street? The Palestinian?”

Two members of the radical-left group “Code Pink” entered Thursday’s Capitol Hill event and yelled pro-Palestinian slogans. When they refused the moderator’s repeated requests to desist, the protesters were escorted from the room by security guards.

Posted on April 27, 2017 .