Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 9 December 2019

Israeli legislators urge US Congress to oppose two-state solution

US congressmen recently voted to oppose BDS movement but backed long-standing peace formula

Israeli security forces walk past the Dome of the Rock mosque as they arrive at the Al-Aqsa mosques compound in the Old City of Jerusalem on August 11, 2019. Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem is their capital. AFP / Ahmad GHARABLI
Israeli security forces walk past the Dome of the Rock mosque as they arrive at the Al-Aqsa mosques compound in the Old City of Jerusalem on August 11, 2019. Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem is their capital. AFP / Ahmad GHARABLI

Twenty-one right-wing members of Israel's parliament sent a letter on Monday to US legislators who co-sponsored a recent law opposing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, urging them to reject the two-state solution.

“Israel is grateful to all our wonderful friends in Congress who stand with us on so many fronts,” the letter reads.

“However, we would like to express to you our concern regarding the anti-BDS resolution."

The bill, passed overwhelmingly by the US House of Representatives on July 23, opposed the international effort to boycott Israel but reaffirmed support for the two-state solution.

“We believe it contains a grave error because it expresses, among other things, support for a two-state solution, meaning the establishment of a Palestinian state in the heart of tiny Israel," the Israeli members wrote.

"We would like to make our position clear that the establishment of a Palestinian state would be far more dangerous to Israel than BDS.”

Support for the two state-solution has been a long-standing American policy.

The Israeli letter was written and sent by prominent settler leader and two hawkish informal groups within the ruling Likud party.

Deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely of Likud and other key members of the party also signed.

Since the 1990s, peace plans have set aside the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem for a future Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Breaking with consensus, US President Donald Trump’s administration has not endorsed a two-state solution as the basis for its own peace plan, which is yet to be unveiled.

The Palestinian leadership is boycotting the US plan, saying it would be biased in Israel’s favour rather than trying to reset the field in a more balanced way.

Updated: August 13, 2019 03:10 AM

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