Democratic Senators Release Resolution Against Israeli Annexation of West Bank

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Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks in San Francisco, California on June 2, 2019.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks in San Francisco, California on June 2, 2019. Credit: AFP

Democratic senators introduced a resolution on Thursday in support of a two-state solution and against Israeli annexation of any parts of the West Bank.

The resolution doesn't mention Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by name, but is a direct rebuke to his election promise from April that he will annex parts of the West Bank if he forms Israel's next government.

Among the senators who signed the resolution are two presidential contenders, Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. The resolution was crafted by Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon and signed by Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein of California, Tammy Duckworth, from Illinois, and Dick Durbin, also from Illinois.

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“Unilateral annexation of portions of the West Bank would jeopardize prospects for a two-state solution, harm Israel’s relationship with its Arab neighbors, threaten Israel’s Jewish and democratic identity, and undermine Israel’s security," the resolution states.

Netanyahu has not repeated his annexation promise in recent weeks, ever since the April 9th election, but he could put it back on the agenda now that Israel is going to another election on September 17, after his failure to form a coalition. 

The resolution won praise from the progressive Jewish group J Street, which works to promote a two-state solution. "This resolution is an important warning to the Trump administration against any attempts to encourage annexation or undercut the ultimate prospects for a two-state solution,” said the organization's president Jeremy Ben-Ami. 

A similar resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives on May 3rd, and so far more than 100 members of the House have joined it.

In addition, two months ago, a group of Jewish lawmakers who are considered strong supporters of Israel, sent Netanyahu a public letter warning him against annexation.

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