Support Direct Negotiations, Not Imposed Solutions

Israel and the United States are committed to a two-state solution — a Jewish state living side-by-side in peace with a demilitarized Palestinian state. The House of Representatives and Senate both introduced bipartisan resolutions — H. Res. 11 and S. Res. 6, respectively — reaffirming this principle and opposing efforts at the United Nations to impose a solution on the conflict. The House overwhelmingly adopted H. Res. 11 on Jan. 5. Please urge your members of Congress to support direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Key Points

What is Happening at the United Nations?

On Dec. 23, 2016, the United States broke with the precedent established by nearly 40 years of Democratic and Republican administrations — and the urging of both the House and Senate — and abstained from an anti-Israel United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR). This latest resolution hinders the peace process by imposing a solution on the Israelis and Palestinians instead of them reaching an agreement through direct, bilateral negotiations. Also, it supports Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) activities against Israel and ignores Palestinian incitement and terrorism.

How Has Congress Responded?

On Jan. 3, 2017, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY) introduced a bipartisan resolution (H. Res. 11) to put Congress on record in opposition to UNSCR 2334 and call for the anti-Israel measure to be repealed or altered. The resolution denounces UNSC Resolution 2334 as “an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace” and urges the United States to oppose and veto future Security Council resolutions that seek to impose solutions on the Israelis and Palestinians. Further, the congressional resolution reiterates that “a durable and sustainable peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians will come only through direct bilateral negotiations between the parties resulting in a Jewish, democratic state living side-by-side next to a demilitarized Palestinian state in peace and security.” The bipartisan resolution was overwhelmingly adopted on Jan. 5 in a 342-80-4 vote.

In the Senate, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced a similar resolution (S. Res. 6)  on Jan. 4 expressing “grave opposition” to UNSCR 2334. The bipartisan measure reiterates that the United States will “continue to seek a sustainable, just and secure two-state solution” and calls on the Trump administration to “facilitate the resumption of direct, bilateral negotiations” between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Additionally, bipartisan majorities in both the U.S. House and Senate have spoken out against the United States’ decision to abstain from voting rather than veto the one-sided resolution. See a full bipartisan, bicameral list of congressional responses to the resolution.

What Should the Current and Future Administrations Do?

The U.S. government should press the Palestinians to return to direct, bilateral negotiations without preconditions with Israel. A viable deal can best be reached if both parties enter negotiations willingly, feel vested in the peace process, and intend to implement a solution.

How Can I Get Involved?

Please urge your members of Congress to support direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.

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Urge your members of Congress to support direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

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