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update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

Senate, House Democrats push Palestinian statehood

Forty-eight of 100 lawmakers in the upper chamber joined the call.

The U.S. Capitol building in Washington. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
The U.S. Capitol building in Washington. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Democrats in both chambers of the U.S. Congress have expressed support for a Palestinian state in recent days, despite Israeli opposition to the move as a threat to its security.

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) led 48 Democratic senators and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday in announcing plans to introduce a two-page amendment to the national security supplemental package affirming that U.S. policy is to support a two-state solution.

Two Democrats in the 100-member chamber did not sign on to the measure—Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.).

A spokesperson for Fetterman told Axios that while the former progressive and current pro-Israel moderate supports a two-state solution, he “also strongly believes that this resolution should include language stipulating the destruction of Hamas as a precondition to peace.”

On the other side of the Capitol, 44 House Democrats signed a letter sent to President Joe Biden on Tuesday calling for a “two-state solution as the only viable path for a sustainable peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people.”

The letter, led by Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) and Jim Himes (D-Conn.), also criticizes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent remarks rejecting Palestinian statehood.

Netanyahu said in a televised address on Jan. 18 that “Gaza must be demilitarized, under Israel’s full security control,” adding, “I will not compromise on full Israeli security control of all territory west of the Jordan River.”

His comments drew a backlash from the Biden administration, Democratic members of Congress, the European Union, and the United Nations.

Earlier this week, the Republican Jewish Coalition slammed the Biden administration for its “growing pressure” on Israel to support the creation of a Palestinian state.

“Today, Israel is at war against the monstrous terrorists who perpetrated the October 7 atrocities, dozens of Israelis remain captives of Hamas, and no Palestinian faction has condemned the horror that led to the current crisis,” stated Norm Coleman and Matt Brooks, national chairman and CEO respectively of the RJC.

“Until those objectives are accomplished, pressuring the Jewish state to make irreversible and potentially perilous long-term diplomatic commitments is a grave failure to live up to America’s proud history of standing with Israel against its deadly enemies,” said the RJC heads.

“Let’s be clear: As long as the Palestinian Authority is still rewarding terrorist murderers through its massive ‘pay-for-slay’ subsidies and refusing to condemn the October 7 atrocities, it remains unfit to administer a Palestinian state,” the two men added.

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