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House approves two-state resolution in implicit rebuke of Trump

The House on Friday approved a resolution supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, recording opposition to any peace plan put forth by the Trump administration that doesn’t expressly call for an independent Palestinian state living side-by-side with a Jewish state of Israel.

Only 5 Republicans backed the measure in the 226-183 vote, though 11 GOP lawmakers had joined a bipartisan amendment reaffirming U.S. commitments to providing military aid to Israel that was added to the bill.

The resolution follows criticism by Democrats of several moves by the Trump administration that they said endangered a two-state solution, including moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and cutting the majority of U.S. aid to the Palestinians.

Last month, Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoState Dept. to review Trump admin's decision to label Houthis a terrorist organization VOA reinstates White House reporter reassigned after questioning Pompeo Jilani: China 'sending clear message' to Biden officials with sanctions that opposition could lead to 'future pay cut' MORE announced that the U.S. would not recognize Israeli settlements as illegal under international law, a rebuke of the Obama administration’s decision to refrain from using veto power on U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334 that called the settlements illegal.

“It is no coincidence this resolution is being brought now,” Rep. Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinWyoming county votes to censure Liz Cheney for Trump impeachment vote GOP divided over Liz Cheney's future READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results MORE (R-N.Y.) said on the floor. “It is a rebuke, attempted rebuke of the Trump administration.”

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The vote also showcased divisions within the Democratic caucus over Israel.

Four Democrats opposed the resolution: Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs Overnight Energy: EPA rule exempts many polluting industries from future air regulations | Ex-Michigan governor to be charged over Flint water crisis: report | Officials ousted from White House after papers casting doubt on climate science Ex-Michigan governor to be charged over Flint water crisis: report MORE (D-Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDemocrats poised to impeach Trump again Pence opposes removing Trump under 25th Amendment: reports Pelosi vows to impeach Trump again — if Pence doesn't remove him first MORE (D-Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez says lawmakers fear colleagues sneaking firearms on House floor Ocasio-Cortez spent inauguration evening supporting striking workers in New York Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated MORE (D-N.Y.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyBelfast's Troubles echo in today's Washington Federal government carries out 13th and final execution under Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history MORE (D-Mass.).

Two Democrats voted “present,” including Rep. Betty McCollumBetty Louise McCollumTim Ryan, Rosa DeLauro giving free coffee and donuts to National Guard stationed at Capitol House Democrats request cots for National Guard troops stationed in Capitol OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency | House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally | Trump administration pushes for rollback of Arctic offshore drilling regulations MORE (D-Minn.), who criticized the text reaffirming the U.S.’s “ironclad” commitment to military aid as rejecting Palestinian human rights.

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashRepublicans eye primaries in impeachment vote Michigan GOP lawmaker says he's 'strongly considering' impeachment Newly sworn in Republican House member after Capitol riot: 'I regret not bringing my gun to D.C.' MORE (I-Mich.), who left the GOP earlier this year, also voted “no.”

The GOP-controlled Senate is unlikely to do anything with the resolution. 

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The resolution highlights the long-standing policy of the United States to support a two-state solution to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict and condemns unilateral efforts on both sides as undermining the chances for achieving such a solution.

This includes opposing efforts by the Israeli government to expand settlements or unilaterally annex territory. It also calls on the Palestinians to refrain from seeking recognition of independent statehood outside the framework of negotiations with Israel.

Democratic lawmakers emphasized that the resolution affirms long-standing U.S. foreign policy of both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Omar said the inclusion of language committing $38 billion in American military assistance to Israel hurt U.S. efforts to bring peace to the region, a position increasingly gaining momentum among progressives. 

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Congressional leaders present Biden, Harris with flags flown during inauguration LIVE INAUGURATION COVERAGE: Biden signs executive orders; press secretary holds first briefing MORE (D-Md.) offered support for the military assistance, saying it was "critical to America’s national security."

He said he was opposed to placing any conditions on the assistance.

Tlaib criticized the resolution as ignoring steps taken by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE that she said would “ensure” the “demise” of the two-state solution.

“They increased their illegal taking of Palestinian homes, imprisoned more Palestinian children than ever before and are building walls right now to annex the West Bank and other Palestinian villages,” she said.

Tlaib, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants and who grew up in Detroit, often refers to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict through the lens of the African American civil rights movement, saying only a one-state solution would ensure equal rights for both Arabs and Jews.

“Separate but equal didn't work in our country and I can't see it possible in other countries,” she said. “Given our nation's history of segregation, we should recognize when such injustices are occurring.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelState Department sets up new bureau for cybersecurity and emerging technologies How Congress dismissed women's empowerment 2020: A year in photos MORE (D-N.Y.) spoke out against a one-state solution as incompatible with “Israel’s right to exist as a state that is both Jewish and democratic” in his opening remarks on the floor.

“Do you know what a one-state solution means? It means a state where Jews can become the minority in their own country. It means one Palestinian state with no determination for the Jewish people or for the Palestinians. Israel's right to exist as a state that is both Jewish and democratic is incompatible with a one-state solution, period.”