House Should Pass Resolution Supporting Two States and Opposing Annexation — Without Harmful Changes

July 25, 2019

J Street strongly supports House Resolution 326, which affirms US support for a two-state solution and warns against possible efforts by the Trump administration to endorse or encourage unilateral Israeli annexations in the West Bank. We believe that this vital resolution should be brought to a vote on the floor of the House this week and we oppose efforts to obstruct its passage or to further amend it in ways that would undermine its central purpose.

Introduced by Representatives Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Karen Bass (D-CA) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA), H.Res.326 is now co-sponsored by over two-thirds of the Democratic caucus and was passed last week by the House Foreign Affairs committee. At a time when the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government are engaged in intensive efforts to permanently prevent a two-state solution, this resolution gives Congress the chance to clearly push back, and to reaffirm a longstanding, bipartisan consensus against such unilateral actions. Most pressingly, it makes clear that any US support for annexation would harm US interests and severely jeopardize Israel’s future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people.

We are deeply concerned by reported efforts to remove the resolution’s opposition to potential annexations and to remove language which states that only a two-state solution can guarantee the long-term needs and aspirations of both Israel and Palestinians. If implemented, these changes would completely undercut the purpose and impact of this resolution. They would hand a victory to President Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu and all those who wish to prevent the achievement of a two-state peace agreement and to instead entrench a one-state nightmare of unending conflict and occupation.

House leaders should seize this opportunity to demonstrate that Congress will stand up for the long-term interests of the US, Israel and the Palestinians — and defend them from the far-right agenda of the Trump administration. We urge them to bring H.Res.326 to a vote this week, without harmful changes that undermine longstanding bipartisan policy.