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June 24, 2011: Urge Congressional Action on a Unilateral Palestinian State

04:13 PM Jun 30, 2011

Rather than pursuing negotiations with Israel aimed a creating two states for two peoples living in peace and security, the Palestinian leadership plans to offer a resolution at the September session of the United Nations General Assembly which would call for the unilateral recognition of an independent Palestinian state.

The idea of achieving Palestinian statehood outside the framework of direct negotiations with Israel is contrary to past agreements between the Palestinians and Israel, United Nations resolutions, the position of the Quartet, and long-standing U.S. policy.  President Obama has rejected this unilateral approach, acknowledging that only through direct negotiations can a sustainable peace—one that promotes security and prosperity—be achieved.  

While we are hopeful that many other nations aside from the U.S. in the U.N. Security Council and General Assembly will also oppose a unilateral Palestinian “end run” around negotiations with Israel, unfortunately, many nations have declared their willingness to support such a resolution, despite the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has offered to conduct negotiations on all permanent status issues without any preconditions, has recognized the right of the Palestinian people to national self-determination in an independent state, and has expressed readiness to make painful compromises as long as they are consistent with Israel's fundamental security requirements.

In addition to efforts by the Obama Administration to manage the issue at the U.N., the United States Congress is considering resolutions in both houses, led by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) in the House of Representatives and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) in the Senate. These resolutions urge the Obama Administration to lead diplomatic efforts opposing a unilateral declaration of statehood.  They also reaffirm the importance of a negotiated peace for two viable states, side-by-side, living in peace and security.  

Urge your Members of Congress to support H. Res. 268 and S. Res. 185.

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