US Congress to endorse two-states for Israelis and Palestinians

The United States Congress has advanced a new resolution supporting a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians, which can be brought to the floor for a vote.

According to a report in The Hill, lawmakers “adopted two amendments meant to satisfy Republican and Democratic demands to achieve bipartisan consensus”.

Ultimately, however, the report continued, “only about a dozen Republicans are likely to cross the aisle in a final vote”, amidst claims that the resolution is “redundant and partisan”.

House Resolution 326 – which would put Congress on record as backing a two-state solution – is seen as a counterweight to the Trump administration’s efforts – both practical and rhetorical – to move away from support for a Palestinian state.

The two amendments added yesterday, which set up a vote on the full text today, reaffirm US military support for Israel, and call for a resumption of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.

According to the Hill, the former amendment was added at the request of Republicans, to “counter efforts by progressive Democrats calling for conditioning military aid to Israel to push them into negotiations with the Palestinians”.

In response, “to satisfy Democrats upset over the inclusion of military aid”, the latter amendment was added, stressing the importance of US aid to the Palestinians, cut by the Trump administration.

The final resolution has created displeasure amongst proponents of Palestinian rights, including Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who told the Hill that she plans to speak out before it goes for a full vote.

“I think with my direct ties of actually having not only a grandmother there, but a number of relatives, for us to truly get a peaceful resolution, I think we need to be honest brokers and tell the truth and the fact that the word occupation was taken out [of the resolution], it tells you that we’re not being honest,” Tlaib said.

Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, told the Hill that while she is “not happy” with the inclusion of an amendment on military aid, “it was the best we could negotiate and I think that it’s so important to restate our commitment to two-states”.

Jayapal added that the resolution will not stop calls to condition aid over policies such as settlement expansion or potential future annexation moves.

“I’m still going to look at any aid package from the perspective of, is this aid being used for human rights violations that the United States would not come to standby,” Jayapal said.

Long-time Israel advocates, meanwhile, criticized the resolution, with Representative Lee Zeldin (R-NY) slamming what he predicted would be “one of the most partisan votes to ever take place regarding Israel ever in the history of the House of Representatives”.