Important Letter from 92 MOCs Supports US Action On Israeli-Palestinian Escalation, Threats to Israeli Democracy

March 9, 2023

J Street welcomes an important new House letter to President Biden, signed by 92 Members of Congress, which supports determined US leadership to de-escalate conflict, protect the viability of a negotiated two-state solution, and oppose Israeli government moves to damage democratic institutions and advance annexation.

Led by Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro, Ranking Member Jim McGovern, and Representative Jan Schakowsky, the letter shares “deep concern regarding the planned changes to the structure of the Israeli judiciary, the fragile security situation in the West Bank, and the threat of partial or full annexation of areas that would most certainly be part of a future Palestinian state.” It urges the Biden Administration to “use all diplomatic tools available to prevent Israel’s government from further damaging the nation’s democratic institutions and undermining the potential for two states for two peoples.”

The Members of Congress note that violence against both Israelis and Palestinians has surged in recent weeks, and that “consistent and sustained U.S. diplomatic leadership is critical to preempt counterproductive unilateral actions and prevent violent escalations.” They commend US actions to date to de-escalate tensions, and to oppose actions that undermine the prospects for a two-state solution.

As the Israeli government continues to press ahead with controversial, anti-democratic plans to undercut the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law, the Members of Congress warn that these plans could “empower far-right lawmakers seeking to entrench settlement of the West Bank and advance a pro-annexation agenda, undermining the prospects for a two-state solution and threatening Israel’s existence as a Jewish and democratic state.”

“With violence and terror spiking in the West Bank, acts of annexation underway, and hundreds of thousands of Israelis taking to the streets to defend democracy, it’s vital that so many Members of Congress are supporting intensive diplomatic action by the Biden Administration,” said J Street’s president Jeremy Ben-Ami. “Pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy Americans are deeply worried about the actions of the Netanyahu government and the damage they are doing to both Israelis and Palestinians. This is exactly the type of leadership they hope to see from Congress and the White House.”

The letter is signed by 11 Democratic Ranking Members on House committees, including Reps. Grijalva, Himes, Lofgren, Nadler, Raskin, Takano, Velazquez, Waters and Wild.

The full text of the letter and a full list of signers can be found here.

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