GOP lawmakers voice support for Israeli plan to annex areas in West Bank
More than 100 House Republicans voiced their support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to move forward with annexing portions of the West Bank.
A letter signed by 109 GOP lawmakers said they believe “Israel has the right to make sovereign decisions independent of outside pressure” and feel the country’s leaders have the right to move forward to protect its national security interests.
The letter was led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), and Rep. David Kustof (R-Tenn.).
“We are aware of and deeply concerned by threats being expressed by some to retaliate against Israel as it makes decisions to ensure defensible borders. It is shortsighted to threaten relations with Israel, a long-time friend and critical ally that shares our democratic values,” they wrote.
“We support the Trump administration’s engagement with Israel on the Vision for Peace Plan, which was based on the critical premise that Israel should never be forced to compromise its security. We assure you that we will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel and oppose any effort to apply pressure.”
The group went on to highlight the rocky foreign relations between the United States and Palestine.
“As you know well, the Palestinians have rejected Israel’s bids for peace time and again and have shunned the Trump administration’s efforts to bring peace to the conflict since the administration’s earliest days, even before the President’s vision was unveiled,” they continued.
“The Trump administration’s new approach offers the promise of success where past efforts have failed, recognizing Israel’s vital national and security interests while providing for a fair and reasonable compromise with the Palestinians, should Palestinian leadership opt finally to prioritize peace.”
The White House has not commented on the plans for annexation in the region.
Democrats including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) expressed their disapproval of the action.
“A sustainable peace deal that ensures the long-term security of Israel and self-determination for Palestinians must be negotiated directly between the two parties,” they said in a statement. “Unilateral annexation runs counter to those longstanding policies and could undermine regional stability and broader US national security interests in the region.”
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