J Street Vice President of Government Affairs Dylan Williams released the following statement today regarding the letter sent by Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and 78 of his colleagues to President Obama concerning the US-Israel special relationship:
J Street welcomes Members of Congress standing alongside President Obama as he seeks to right the US-Israel special relationship after deeply troubling statements by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The letter correctly urges the President to "to persevere in reaffirming" the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a commitment to shared democratic values as fundamental to U.S. policy.
It speaks volumes that dozens of Members support the President's constructive reaffirmation of the basis of our relationship with Israel. We hope Prime Minister Netanyahu takes this as a signal that he should join President Obama in seeking to resolve policy disagreements in a civil matter befitting the closest of allies.
Among the 79 signers of the letter are ten Ranking Members of House committees, Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn and seven Members who identify as Jewish. More than 700 J Street supporters met with Congressional offices in support of the letter on J Street's March 24 Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, the culminating day of its Fifth National Conference attended by more than 3000 people.
The text and signers of the letter are below.
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As staunch supporters of Israel, we are firmly committed to ensuring that it remains a secure and democratic homeland for the Jewish people. That is why we are writing to express to you our deep concern over recent comments made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissing the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and to express our appreciation of your strong reiteration of US support for this long-standing policy.
In the run-up to the Israeli election on March 17, Prime Minister Netanyahu, when interviewed by the press, appeared to drop his support of a two-state solution—claiming that no Palestinian state would be established while he is prime minister. This is particularly troubling given that support for a two-state solution has been part of U.S. policy over four administrations, including your own. Moreover, it is widely accepted as the only way of maintaining Israel’s long-term security and of ensuring that Israel remains both a Jewish and a democratic state.
This is why we urge you to persevere in reaffirming that the two-state solution is still achievable and that it, and the joint U.S.-Israel commitment to shared democratic values and to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, remains fundamental to U.S. policy. We expect the U.S. and Israeli governments always to pursue a policy aimed at ensuring the maintenance of democratic values and the pursuit of peace.
Thank you for your attention to this matter, and we look forward to continuing to work with you and your administration on all important issues regarding our dear ally, Israel.
[Signed by] Representatives Nadler, Aguilar, Bass, Bera, Beyer, Blumenauer, Bonamici, Bordallo, Brady, Capps, Capuano, Cartwright, Cicilline, Katherine Clark, Yvette Clarke, Clyburn, Cohen, Connolly, Conyers, Courtney, DeFazio, DelBene, DeSaulnier, Doggett, Doyle, Edwards, Ellison, Eshoo, Farr, Fattah, Al Green, Grijalva, Gutierrez, Honda, Huffman, Jeffries, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Hank Johnson, Kaptur, Kind, Kuster, Larson, Lawrence, Barbara Lee, Sheila Jackson Lee, Lewis, Loebsack, Lowenthal, Sean Patrick Maloney, Matsui, McDermott, McGovern, McNerney, Moore, Norton, Payne, Scott Peters, Pingree, Plaskett, Pocan, Polis, Price, Rangel, Rush, Tim Ryan, Serrano, Schakowsky, Robert Scott, Slaughter, Adam Smith, Speier, Takano, Tonko, Tsongas, Van Hollen, Velazquez, Watson Coleman, Welch and Yarmuth.