Democratic Reps. Eliot L. Engel of New York, Nita Lowey of New York, Ted Deutch of Florida and Brad Schneider of Illinois released a statement Friday denouncing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign promise to annex the settlements in the West Bank.
Netanyahu announced the campaign promise last week, which is a lurch to the right for him, days before a contentious election. He ended up winning the election and will retain his role as prime minister for a fifth term. (RELATED: Beto Calls Netanyahu A ‘Racist’ Who Doesn’t Represent The ‘True Will’ Of Israelis)
“As strong, life-long supporters of Israel, a U.S.-Israel relationship rooted in our shared values, and the two-state solution, we are greatly concerned by the possibility of Israel taking unilateral steps to annex the West Bank,” a statement from the four Democrats began. “Every one of Israel’s frontiers plays an important role in its security, and Israel’s ability to guard itself from threats is non-negotiable.”
“We are greatly concerned by the possibility of Israel taking unilateral steps to annex the West Bank.”
— House Foreign Affairs Committee (@HouseForeign) April 12, 2019
“We hope that any security measures are implemented within the context of preserving the eventual possibility of a two-state solution,” it went on. “Two states for two peoples, negotiated directly by the two sides, with mutually agreed upon land swaps, is the best option to achieve a Jewish, democratic, secure Israel living side-by-side with a democratic, de-militarized Palestinian state.”
Lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul told The Daily Caller, “I have long been on record in support of a two-state solution, and my view has not changed. A two-state solution is the best way to ensure that Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in peace and security.”
He did not specifically address Netanyahu’s promise to annex the settlements in the West Bank.
Netanyahu has a cozy relationship with President Donald Trump. Netanyahu used his familiar relationship with Trump to his benefit in the lead-up to the election. The two leaders met last month and Trump announced that the would recognize Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights.
Trump has not publicly commented on Netanyahu’s plans involving the settlements in the West Bank.