WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rosen released the following statement regarding Israel’s possible unilateral annexation of the West Bank.
“As the third female Jewish Senator in U.S. history, as well as the first former synagogue president to serve in the United States Senate, ensuring that Israel remains safe and secure and strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship are of paramount importance to me,” said Senator Rosen. “In Congress, I have been and will continue to be a steadfast voice for continued U.S. security assistance to Israel, deepening U.S.-Israel cooperation on missile defense and cybersecurity, and confronting the destabilizing activities of Iran and its terrorist proxies. I also have fought against and will continue to vigorously oppose the unfair treatment of Israel, including by opposing the BDS movement. As Israel faces mounting threats in the region, I will continue to be unwavering in my support for life-saving assistance that provides our most reliable partner in the Middle East with the resources to defend itself, by itself. Accordingly, the United States must never condition security assistance, which could undermine Israel’s security and stability in the region. Our deep bilateral relationship and mutual cooperation transcend any one policy decision, as does bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”
“When it comes to peace, I have always believed that a two-state solution is the best way to ensure Israel’s future as a secure, Jewish, and democratic state and to realize Palestinian national aspirations,” Senator Rosen continued. “Time and time again, Israel has demonstrated its willingness to make serious concessions and territorial compromises in the pursuit of peace, even as its civilians have faced countless terrorist attacks from groups such as Hamas. While Israel stands ready today to return to the negotiating table without any preconditions, the Palestinian Authority continues to internationalize the conflict through institutions such as the International Criminal Court, instead of engaging in direct talks. Unfortunately, Palestinian leaders’ intransigence has contributed to the current deadlock in the negotiating process.”
“However, unilateral steps by either party push both parties farther away from peace. To that end, as I have communicated to Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, I am deeply concerned about the possibility of Israel unilaterally annexing the West Bank. Many former Israeli military leaders have warned that even a partial unilateral annexation of the West Bank could undermine the prospects for a two-state solution. Moreover, territorial issues should be resolved at the negotiating table – to be determined directly by Israel and the Palestinians. While Palestinian refusal to negotiate should be noted, in the absence of negotiations, it is incumbent upon both parties to foster an environment conducive to eventually restarting talks. Unilateral annexation is not the answer. Now is the time for the United States to recommit to the objective of two states for two people, and for Israelis and Palestinians to refrain from any unilateral steps that push us farther away from securing that peaceful future.” Senator Rosen concluded.
BACKGROUND: Last year, Senator Rosen participated in a seven-day official visit to Israel. The Senator engaged in high-level policy briefings and meetings with renowned experts on Israel’s security, US-Israel cybersecurity cooperation, clean energy, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Holocaust education, international law, and Israel’s vibrant democracy, diverse society, and regional challenges.