107 Democratic members of the House express ‘strong disapproval’ for plan’s failure to provide for viable Palestinian state and timing of release ahead of Israeli elections
By RON KAMPEAS 7 February 2020, 10:19 pm
Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., speaks as the House of Representatives debates the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. (House Television via AP)
WASHINGTON (JTA) — Two Jewish lawmakers spearheaded a letter to US President Donald Trump signed by 107 Democratic members of the House expressing “strong disapproval” of his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.
“Our concern is both with the substance of your plan, which will exacerbate and entrench conflict rather than resolve it, and with the timing of its release,” said the letter, initiated by Andy Levin of Michigan and Alan Lowenthal of California. Another seven Jewish Democrats also signed.
Democrats at first were cautious to criticize the plan, crafted by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and released last week, in part because it restored the terminology of “two states.”
But a number of Democrats have now expressed concern at the fractured, multi-enclave Palestinian entity that is at the heart of the plan’s proposal, and at its green light to Israel to annex about 30 percent of the West Bank.
“While your proposal uses the language of statehood for Palestinians, it provides far less than an actual, viable state,” said the letter sent Thursday and first reported by Jewish Insider.
The letter also faults the peace team for not consulting with Palestinians, and for releasing the plan just ahead of Israeli elections next month, in what they suggested was a bid to boost the prospects of Trump ally Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Releasing the plan now appears to be an inappropriate intervention in a foreign election,” the letter says.
Notably, the letter includes progressive Democrats like Levin, and moderate Democrats, like his fellow Jewish Michigander, Elissa Slotkin.