The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives,
The Honorable Eliot Engel, Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs
The Honorable Theodore Deutch, Chairman, Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy, Minority Leader
The Honorable Michael McCaul, Ranking Member, Committee on Foreign Affairs
The Honorable Joe Wilson, Ranking Member, Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, and Leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism:
As leading progressive organizations in the American Jewish community, we write to ask you to bring to the House floor H.Res.326 introduced by Representatives Alan Lowenthal, Karen Bass, and Gerry Connolly.
H.Res.326 is vital legislation. It will put on record members of the House of Representatives in endorsing the two-state solution as the only means of ensuring “the State of Israel’s survival as a secure Jewish and democratic state” and fulfilling “the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state of their own.”
As you know, the goal of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been longtime, bipartisan US policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The resolution references the Clinton Parameters, the George W. Bush Road Map, and the Obama/Kerry Principles, all of which provided frameworks for negotiations toward a two-state solution.
Further, the resolution makes clear that any US proposal which contravenes this essential goal will prove counterproductive. Specifically, it indicates that “a United States proposal that fails to expressly endorse a two-state solution as its objective, that expressly or tacitly encourages unilateral annexation of territory, or is otherwise inconsistent with the broadly held consensus positions for resolving the conflict’s final status issues as reflected in previous United States proposals is likely to put a peaceful end to the conflict further out of reach.”
Consideration by the House of Representatives of this important legislation is an urgent matter. The Trump administration has made clear its openness to Israeli annexation and opposition to a two-state solution. In a recent interview in The New York Times, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman stated that Israel has the “right to retain” parts of the West Bank. White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt refuse to speak of a two-state solution because, in Greenblatt’s words, “There is no point in using a phrase that never achieved peace.”
Disastrously, the Trump administration’s actions have matched these words. By endorsing Israeli claims to Jerusalem without recognition of Palestinian claims and outside the framework of a final-status agreement, President Trump set the stage for the Palestinian leadership to cut off relations with the US. His administration has gone on to close the PLO mission in Washington and the US consulate in Jerusalem; terminate US aid to UNRWA and attempt to take the issue of Palestinian refugees “off the table”; cut off remaining humanitarian aid to the West Bank and Gaza; and recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Meanwhile, Trump has stood by as Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government has opened the floodgates to future settlement construction.
H.Res.326 is co-sponsored by over half of the House Democratic Caucus. These members of Congress recognize that with the Trump administration perhaps preparing to launch its long-advertised “peace plan,” the time for members of the House of Representatives to make their voices heard is now.
We respectfully request that you bring H.Res.326 to the floor.
Americans for Peace Now
National Council of Jewish Women
New Israel Fund
Partners for Progressive Israel
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights