Letter to the Hon. Donald J. Trump, President of the United States - Levin, Lowenthal Lead Letter with 100+ Dems Opposing President's "Peace Plan"

Letter

By: Ron Kind, Gregory Meeks, Jason Crow, Joe Morelle, Bobby Scott, Andy Kim, Stephen Lynch, Jerry McNerney, Zoe Lofgren, Jennifer Wexton, Tulsi Gabbard, Bill Keating, Grace Napolitano, Dave Loebsack, Ami Bera, Elissa Slotkin, Abigail Spanberger, Anna Eshoo, Pete Visclosky, Sheila Jackson Lee, Eleanor Norton, Marcia Kaptur, Lori Trahan, G. K. Butterfield, Jr., Diana DeGette, Ann Kirkpatrick, Lisa Blunt Rochester, John Lewis, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Kim Schrier, Mark DeSaulnier, Donald McEachin, Jahana Hayes, Lucille Roybal-Allard, John Garamendi, Joaquin Castro, Ann Kuster, Jimmy Panetta, Salud Carbajal, Brenda Lawrence, Robin Kelly, Joe Kennedy III, Al Green, Ayanna Pressley, Seth Moulton, Chellie Pingree, Katherine Clark, Veronica Escobar, Rosa DeLauro, Lacy Clay, Jr., Earl Blumenauer, Denny Heck, Alma Adams, Lloyd Doggett II, Abby Finkenauer, Paul Tonko, Maxine Waters, André Carson, Dan Kildee, Betty McCollum, Pramila Jayapal, Jim Clyburn, Nydia Velázquez, Karen Bass, Eddie Johnson, Chuy Garcia, Julia Brownley, Judy Chu, José Serrano, Hank Johnson, Jr., David Price, Don Payne, Jr., Mary Scanlon, Dwight Evans, Mike Doyle, Jr., Debbie Dingell, Cindy Axne, Jared Huffman, John Yarmuth, Gwen Moore, Raul Grijalva, Don Beyer, Jr., Joe Courtney, Jamie Raskin, David Cicilline, Mark Pocan, Deb Haaland, Peter DeFazio, Danny Davis, Ilhan Omar, Mike Thompson, Jan Schakowsky, Bill Foster, Ro Khanna, Mark Takano, Gerry Connolly, Jackie Speier, Sean Casten, Cedric Richmond, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Bobby Rush, Steve Cohen, Barbara Lee, Jim McGovern, Peter Welch, Andy Levin, Alan Lowenthal
Date: Feb. 6, 2020
Issues: Foreign Affairs

Dear Mr. President:

We write to express our strong disapproval of your administration's proposal, the purported aim of which is to advance peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Our concern is both with the substance of your plan, which will exacerbate and entrench conflict rather than resolve it, and with the timing of its release.

In December, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.Res.326 with bipartisan support. That resolution indicated Congressional opposition to unilateral annexation of the West Bank, asserted longstanding U.S. opposition to settlement expansion, and reaffirmed that any viable U.S.-proposed peace plan must include support for a two-state solution. A real two-state solution is the only conflict-ending means of securing both national self-determination for Palestinians and an Israel that is secure, democratic, and a homeland for the Jewish people.

However, the "ultimate deal" that your team has incubated for the past three years is not a serious or good faith attempt to bring such a durable peace between the parties to this conflict. Of utmost concern, your proposal effectively paves the way for permanent occupation of the West Bank. It endorses unilateral annexation of Israeli settlements, as well as the Jordan Valley. While your proposal uses the language of statehood for Palestinians, it provides for far less than an actual, viable state. A collection of disconnected Palestinian enclaves -- surrounded by settlements and settlement infrastructure annexed by Israel, and still under Israeli control -- does not constitute statehood. Crafted by a team that has long indicated its animosity to actual Palestinian statehood, your proposal attempts to make a genuine two-state solution impossible.

We are deeply concerned that your administration developed a proposal without consulting Palestinians and that no Palestinian leadership could plausibly accept. It could result in renewed violence in Israel and across the occupied territories. It may destabilize Jordan, a vital U.S. ally, and endanger Israel's peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt. It also will likely deepen animosity toward the United States throughout the broader Middle East.

In addition to the highly problematic nature of your proposal, the timing of its release suggests motives unrelated to helping solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Coming just over a month before Israel's third election in a year -- against the backdrop of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's indictments -- releasing the plan now appears to be an inappropriate intervention in a foreign election.

A U.S. proposal that promotes unilateral annexation and jettisons a real two-state solution is bad for Israel, for the shared values that have historically undergirded the U.S.-Israel relationship, and for the bipartisan consensus in the U.S. on the importance of that relationship, which Israel has long understood to be a crucial strategic asset.

Your plan will hurt Israelis and Palestinians alike, pushing them toward further conflict. It does not have our support, and the Israeli government must not take it as license to violate international law by annexing all or portions of the West Bank.


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