Eighteen Senate Democrats expressed yesterday grave concern regarding unilateral annexation of Palestinian territory starting potentially as early as July.
In a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, the senators, led by Chris Van Hollen, Chris Murphy, and Tim Kaine warned that such a move would mark a dramatic reversal of decades of shared understandings between the United States, Israel, the Palestinians and the international community, and would impact Israel’s future, placing its security and democracy at risk.
“A deep commitment to Israel’s security and a shared set of democratic values are foundational elements of the close relationship between our countries. We are therefore concerned that unilateral annexation puts both Israel’s security and democracy at risk,” the Senators wrote.
The senators added: “As friends and supporters of Israel, we caution you against taking unilateral steps that would fray our unique bonds, imperil Israel’s future and place out of reach the prospect of a lasting peace. If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we would not support that action.”
“This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two-state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress,” they concluded
Joining Van Hollen, Murphy, and Kaine were Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Tom Carper (D-De.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
Source: The Palestine Chronicle