Cruz, Harris sign onto Senate resolution supporting Abraham Accords

late than never

Cruz was the last Republican senator to add his name as a cosponsor

Gage Skidmore

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced on Thursday that he will cosponsor a resolution supporting the normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, but expressed strong condemnation of language in the legislation supporting a two-state solution.

Cruz had been the last Republican Senate holdout on the resolution, which has support from more than 90% of the body. Six Democrats, including Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), as well as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), have not signed on.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) joined as a cosponsor on Thursday, according to an AIPAC list tracking the resolution’s backers.

In a statement, Cruz emphasized that he believes the U.S.’s traditional focus on a two-state solution has been an obstacle to achieving progress on other peace deals in the region.

“American diplomats, … arrogantly pressured our Israeli allies to make dangerous concessions to Palestinian terrorists and to submit Israel’s security to a mandated ‘two-state solution,’” he said. “I have insisted that this approach was deeply misguided, that it gave the Palestinians a veto over progress in the region, and that if we signaled America’s unequivocal support for Israel that it would break the logjam in the region by giving our allies the confidence to normalize relations.”

Cruz argued that the Abraham Accords validated this position on the Middle East peace process, and proved the Obama administration took the wrong approach.

He went on to decry language in the resolution expressing the U.S.’s support for a two-state solution, explaining that he does not believe it is the U.S.’s place to dictate such an approach to the Israeli government, and dismissing the language as “no doubt… the price for Senate Democrats support.”

“I believe that including that language was a serious mistake,” he said. “Nevertheless, I am co-sponsoring the overall resolution because it is important to celebrate the Abraham Accords, and to acknowledge their historic importance.”

Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) — one of the remaining holdouts  — told JI he’s withholding his support because the resolution does not recognize that the agreements put a halt to Israeli plans to annex portions of the West Bank.

“[Senator Udall] is pleased to see the recent diplomatic progress and prefers the language in the bipartisan House resolution that applauds the suspension of annexation as part of these accords — a critical component of the recent agreements,” Udall spokeswoman Annie Orloff told Jewish Insider.

Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered daily in a must-read newsletter.