WASHINGTON (JTA) — Five Democratic senators, including the party’s deputy leader in the chamber and two leading presidential candidates, introduced a resolution decrying any Israeli plan to annex West Bank territory, an apparent shot across the bow at Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent election pledge.
“Unilateral annexation of portions of the West Bank would jeopardize prospects for a two-state solution, harm Israel’s relationship with its Arab neighbors, threaten Israel’s Jewish and democratic identity, and undermine Israel’s security,” says the non-binding resolution introduced Thursday.
It says the “the policy of the United States should be to preserve conditions conducive to a negotiated two4 state solution.”
The resolution was introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., joined by Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the deputy minority leader, Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill. and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
Sanders and Warren were among the Democratic presidential candidates who decried Netanyahu’s pledge, before Israel’s April 9 elections, to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The elections were indecisive and Israelis go to the polls again in September, while Netanyahu remains prime minister.
Netanyahu and President Donald Trump have retreated from endorsing a two-state outcome to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is set later this month to unveil the economic component of a peace plan he has been preparing for two years.
Feinstein and Sanders are Jewish and Durbin and Duckworth have longstanding relationships with the pro-Israel community.
Correction, June 10: A previous version of this article stated that Jeff Merkley is a senator from Washington state. In fact, he represents Oregon.