WASHINGTON D.C. - Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) issued strongly worded denunciation on Wednesday to Israel's outpost-legalization bill, which was passed by the Knesset earlier this week.
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Feinstein said in a statement that the bill was "a dramatic step away from peace" and that it "not only legalizes thousands of settler homes throughout the West Bank, but also encourages further expansion of settlements and outposts on land that the Oslo Accords envisioned for a future Palestinian state."
Feinstein was the first U.S. Senator to issue a reply to the bill's passage, and her statement could be followed by similar statements by other members of the Democratic Party.
Feinstein added that the bill was "brutal" and that it will "lead to takeover of the West Bank, making a two-state solution impossible." If the law, which will likely be shot down by Israel's top court, stands, she added, "I truly believe it will kill the two-state solution and any hope for peace," because, in her words, "there will be no room for a Palestinian state" as a result of Israeli settlement growth and expansion.
"Without two states for two peoples, Israel simply cannot be the democratic homeland of the Jewish people," Feinstein warned. "Today, there are nearly 400,000 settlers in the West Bank living in 129 settlements and approximately 100 illegal outposts. The effect of this bill will be to block the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state and kill any hope for peace. This bill stands in opposition to international law and the two-state solution and I hope it is quickly struck down by Israeli courts.”
Feinstein has been a supporter of the two-state solution for years, and was endorsed by J Street in her 2012 campaign for the senate. Feinstein was not among the dozens of Democratic lawmakers who boycotted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech before the U.S. Congress in March 2015, yet she strongly criticized Netanyahu for his "arrogance" and attacked him for claiming to speak in the name of all Jews, saying - "he doesn't speak for me."
Over the weekend, Feinstein said in an interview in regards to another hot-spot in the Middle East, Iran, she actually agreed with some of the steps taken by Trump administration. "I think he is right in this," Feinstein said, referring to Trump's decision to put Iran "on notice" following its' ballistic missile test conducted last week. "
“The need to test right now, I think is very dangerous and should not have happened," she added.