J Street welcomes the passage of House Resolution 326, which marks the first time the House has ever officially voted to oppose unilateral Israeli annexation of the West Bank and to assert longstanding US opposition to settlements.
The landmark resolution, introduced by Reps. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Karen Bass (D-CA) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA), passed with the overwhelming support of House Democrats, along with several House Republicans. Coming at the end of a week in which President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly discussed potential Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley, this vote sends a clear message that Congress strongly opposes such efforts to undermine the prospects for a two-state solution.
“With this vote, the majority of lawmakers have rejected the Trump administration’s embrace of the Israeli settlement movement’s agenda, which undermines US interests, imperils Israel’s future and tramples on Palestinian rights” said J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami. “They’ve made clear that strong support for Israel’s security must go hand-in-hand with opposition to annexation, holding the line against settlement expansion and active American leadership towards a two-state solution.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her support for the resolution in an address to the J Street National Conference in late October. J Street supporters across the country had urged Congress to pass this measure, stressing its urgency following the Trump administration’s recent declaration that the US no longer views Israel’s settlements as a violation of international law — a reversal of decades of bipartisan policy.
The resolution follows on a letter sent last week by 106 Members of Congress to Secretary of State Pompeo, warning that his announcement “severely damaged prospects for peace” and “blatantly disregards” international law.
In contrast to the anticipated details of the Trump administration’s long-promised “peace vision”, the resolution stresses that “only the outcome of a two-state solution that enhances stability and security for Israel, Palestinians, and their neighbors can both ensure the state of Israel’s survival as a Jewish and democratic state and fulfill the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state of their own.” It further states that a constructive US proposal would be consistent with past administrations’ proposals for resolving the conflict’s final status issues, including the principles put forward by Secretary of State John Kerry under President Obama.