on the hill

Members of Congress react to Trump’s Mideast plan

Senate Democrats

Senator Chuck urges passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act — April 8, 2014

Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) cautioned that “unilateral action taken by either side in response to the release of the Trump administration’s plan will diminish the prospects of a future peace.” 

In a statement to Jewish Insider, Schumer emphasized that the only path to durable peace between Israel and the Palestinians is by “real diplomacy via direct negotiations.” While Schumer didn’t indicate that he’s opposed to the Mideast peace plan released by the White House on Tuesday, the Democratic leader stressed that the “goal must be a negotiated two-state solution with mutually agreed upon land swaps, a solution that ensures a safe and secure Israel can live side-by-side in peace with a demilitarized Palestinian state that provides self-determination for the Palestinian people.”

Speaking after the event, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that “Israel does not have to wait at all” to move forward with annexation and they would receive the administration’s backing.

Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted that the plan “offers no chance” for a Palestinian state.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) echoed Warren’s concerns.

Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) called the plan a “diplomatic hoax.” Van Hollen sent a letter to Trump, signed by 12 senators ― including three 2020 candidates — calling the plan “a recipe for renewed division and conflict in the region.”

In a press release, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) noted that the plan had garnered support from both Netanyahu and de facto opposition leader Benny Gantz, who met with Trump yesterday: “The Trump Administration has united the major political factions in Israel behind a two-state solution that guarantees security for Israel and will lead to a 1,000 percent increase in the quality of life for the Palestinian people. 

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D_NJ), a moderate Democrat, welcomed the plan after the president made “clear his commitment to a two-state solution, in consultation with the leaders of both of Israel’s major political parties.” But he also cautioned against “unilateral actions in the meantime, by either side,” which “will only make it harder to achieve peace.”

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism, called for direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians:

“It wasn’t that long ago that President Trump would not commit to a two-state solution. After today’s announcement, we must hold him to that: a future Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security with the Jewish state of Israel, in a settlement achieved by direct negotiations between the two parties. Creating conditions on the ground for peace through territorial compromise and a moratorium on building in settlements can form the basis for meaningful negotiations.”

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