Senators pressure Obama to condemn anti-Israel attacks

Senators pressure Obama to condemn anti-Israel attacks
© Getty Images
A bipartisan group of senators is backing a resolution suppporting Israel amid an uptick in Israeli-Palestinian violence. 
Senators are using the resolution to pressure President Obama, as well as the international community, to condemn forcefully the attacks against Israelis. They also want Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to take steps to curb the violence and build on security cooperation with Israel.
Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteFive possible successors to Mattis Mattis resigns, says views aren't in line with Trump's Election Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms MORE (R-N.H.), Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetCracks beginning to show in GOP shutdown resolve WHIP LIST: Who’s in and out in the 2020 race Would-be 2020 Dem candidates head for the exits MORE (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John CornynJohn CornynTrump tells GOP senators he’s sticking to Syria and Afghanistan pullout  Texas governor, top lawmakers tell Trump not to use hurricane relief funds to build border wall The Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s attorney general pick passes first test MORE (R-Texas), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback Democrats signal they'll reject Trump shutdown proposal Dems revive impeachment talk after latest Cohen bombshell MORE (R-S.C.), Mark KirkMark Steven KirkDems vow swift action on gun reform next year This week: Trump heads to Capitol Hill Trump attending Senate GOP lunch Tuesday MORE (R-Ill.), Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySen. Murray says Washington behavior reminds her of former preschool students Senate rejects government-wide ban on abortion funding Overnight Health Care: Dem chair plans hearing on Medicare for all | Senate GOP talks drug prices with Trump health chief | PhRMA CEO hopeful Trump reverses course on controversial pricing proposal MORE (D-Wash.), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Second Trump-Kim summit planned for next month | Pelosi accuses Trump of leaking Afghanistan trip plans | Pentagon warns of climate threat to bases | Trump faces pressure to reconsider Syria exit Pressure mounts for Trump to reconsider Syria withdrawal Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE (R-Fla.), Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBaldwin's Trump plays 'Deal or No Deal' with shutdown on 'Saturday Night Live' Sunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Trump blasts Pelosi for wanting to leave country during shutdown MORE (D-N.Y.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenCongress should elevate those trapped in the gap – support ELEVATE Act IRS shutdown plan fails to quell worries IRS waiving penalty for some in first filing season under Trump's tax law MORE (D-Ore.) are backing a resolution to show "solidarity" with Israel after a recent spate of attacks. Graham and Rubio are both running for the Republican presidential nomination.
Blumenthal, in a statement, said that he supports Israel "in defending itself against these tragic and indiscriminate Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli citizens." 
"Repeated reprehensible attacks on innocent Israeli civilians follow President Abbas’ dangerous disavowal of commitments made during the peace process. These attacks must be stopped," he added.
The resolution comes after Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryGraham criticizes Trump canceling Pelosi trip as 'inappropriate’ Howard Dean to CNN: All Dem candidates qualified to be president except Tulsi Gabbard Not your ‘grandfather’s’ campaign: 2020 Dems look to stand out in crowded race MORE announced late last month that Israel and Jordan have agreed to take steps to ease tensions at the holy site in Jerusalem that Jews refer to as the Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, or al-Aqsa Mosque.  
The senators are using the proposal to back the agreement, including the requirement to install security cameras to help with around-the-clock video monitoring. 
Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat told The Hill last month that the recent string of violence wouldn't be stopped without addressing broader Israel-Palestenian tensions. Along that vein, the senators' resolution also backs restarting peace talks aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, calling "direct discussions" the "best avenue." 
Kerry previously came under fire from Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGroup aiming to draft Beto O’Rourke unveils first 2020 video Howard Dean looking for a 'younger, newer' Democratic nominee in 2020 Congress can stop the war on science MORE (R-Texas), who is running for president, who said he should resign if he wasn't willing to disavow comments claiming Israelis have some responsibility for the recent rash of violence.