The US House of Representatives on Friday threw its weight behind a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians, in a warning to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he mulls annexing the West Bank.
Passed largely along party lines, the House resolution also marked a shot across the bow to President Donald Trump, who has stood squarely behind Netanyahu.
In its first-ever resolution on a West Bank annexation, the House said that a two-state solution “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.”
US should “discourage steps by either side that would put a peaceful end to the conflict further out of reach,” the resolution said. Such steps include “unilateral annexation of territory or efforts to achieve Palestinian statehood status outside the framework of negotiations with Israel,” it said.
Representative Eliot Engel, the Democrat who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee, recalled his longtime support of Israel and how he backed Trump’s shift of the US embassy to the disputed holy city of Jerusalem.
But he said, in a choice turn of phrase, US security was being “trumped by decisions about our own political interests.”
“Those of us that are strong supporters of Israel understand that Israel is best served by a two-state solution, that a two-state solution is good not only for Palestinians but also good for Jews,” Engel said on the House floor.