Washington, DC – Democratic Celebration lawmakers in america have launched a invoice affirming help for the two-state resolution and calling for “strong oversight” on US assist to Israel to make sure it isn’t utilized in human rights violations.
The proposed laws, launched by Congressman Andy Levin on Thursday, would make it US coverage to obviously distinguish between Israel and the Palestinian territories that it occupies, together with East Jerusalem.
The invoice additionally calls on the US authorities to take care of diplomatic relations with Palestinians by reopening the workplace of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation in Washington and the American consulate in East Jerusalem – each shuttered by former President Donald Trump.
Joe Biden had promised to re-establish ties with Palestinians, however eight months into his presidency the consulate in East Jerusalem has but to reopen.
“The invoice makes clear that help to assist Israel handle its very actual safety challenges ought to proceed with out $1-loss,” Levin stated throughout a information convention in Washington, DC, unveiling the invoice.
“But it surely can’t be utilized in a fashion that violates internationally recognised human rights, or for actions that perpetuate the occupation or allow de facto – or heaven is aware of de jure – annexation.”
Levin, of Michigan, stated Congress having a say over how US taxpayer cash is spent is “nothing new”, however on this case, it’s “important if we’re critical about reaching a two-state resolution and upholding the human rights of Israelis and Palestinians alike”.
Not far sufficient
It has been the coverage of successive US administrations to help the two-state resolution, which might see the institution of a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Financial institution. However critics of American coverage say the US authorities has not put sufficient strain on Israel in direction of that finish.
Palestinian rights advocates additionally for years have stated the two-state resolution is unattainable as a consequence of continued Israeli settlement-building within the occupied Palestinian territories, and lots of criticise the two-state thought as a means for Israel to take care of the established order.
Greater than 680,000 Israeli settlers at present reside within the occupied West Financial institution and East Jerusalem, in response to a current UN report. Israel captured Gaza and the West Financial institution, together with East Jerusalem, within the 1967 warfare. It annexed East Jerusalem in 1980.
In an announcement on Thursday, the US Marketing campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) stated Levin’s laws doesn’t go far sufficient in pressuring Israel.
“Palestinians have lengthy been clear of their calls for – cease US complicity in Israeli human rights abuses and divest from hurt and violence,” the group stated, including that measures in direction of that finish should maintain Israel accountable for its abuses and meaningfully oppose the “separate-and-unequal” actuality that Palestinians reside below.
“The Two State Answer Act doesn’t move these two primary necessities and thus can’t be a progressive invoice on Palestine,” USCPR stated.
Nonetheless, Thursday’s invoice comes amid a growing debate over US assist to Israel, with a number of progressive lawmakers calling for situations to be positioned on the $3.8bn in annual navy help the US offers to the Israeli authorities.
Earlier this yr, Democratic Congresswoman Betty McCollum launched a invoice that may equally limit the usage of US assist so it doesn’t contribute to Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory or to the imprisonment of Palestinian youngsters, amongst different issues.
However Biden has largely saved with a long time of US help for Israel. In a speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, he reasserted his backing of the two-state resolution, however his administration has avoided publicly criticising Israeli insurance policies.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who met with Biden in Washington final month, has dominated out permitting the institution of a Palestinian state below his authorities.
The invoice launched on Thursday, dubbed the Two State Answer Act, says the institution of Israeli settlements is “inconsistent with worldwide legislation”; it additionally requires “an finish to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories”.
Given the human rights violations in Gaza, Sheikh Jarrah, and ever-growing settlement growth, we shouldn’t be ramming by a last-minute $1 billion enhance in navy funding for Israel with none accountability.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) September 23, 2021
It was introduced hours earlier than the Home of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to offer $1bn in further funding to Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system.
In response to a query by Al Jazeera, Levin acknowledged the challenges dealing with the two-state resolution, together with Bennett’s stance, however he stated you will need to put within the work to be able to open new prospects.
“What’s been lacking is the US taking part in its position – its muscular, strong position – of claiming to those two peoples: We’re going to help you and convey you collectively by thick and skinny in order that we will obtain lasting peace,” Levin stated.
The invoice is co-sponsored by greater than two dozen Democrats, together with a number of distinguished Jewish members of the Home.