Congressman Lowenthal, Colleagues, Supporting Organizations Unveil Two-State Solution Act
Congressman Alan Lowenthal today, joined by colleagues and supporting organizations, marked the end of the High Holy Days by unveiling legislation to define the United States’ role in making meaningful progress towards peace in Israel and Palestine and to discourage steps that push this out of reach: The Two-State Solution Act. The bill was authored by Congressman Andy Levin (MI-09) and, including Congressman Lowenthal, was cosponsored by 24 House Members.
The bill outlines funding necessary to promote diplomacy and peacebuilding between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, and defines how U.S. security assistance to Israel cannot be used for occupation or annexation, a position most American Jewish voters support, as do other Americans.
“We cannot put the search for a two-state solution on the back burner,” Congressman Lowenthal said. “Peace without a lasting and just solution to the conflict is an illusion. It is not sustainable. No matter how difficult the road ahead may seem, only a Palestinian state can guarantee dignity and justice to the Palestinian people, without the burdens of occupation. Only a two-state solution can preserve Israel as a free, secure and democratic state, to serve as a national home for the Jewish people. The Two-State Solution Act will put us on the path toward a real and lasting solution again.”
You can watch the press conference with Congressman Lowenthal, bill author Congressman Levin, original cosponsors Congress Members Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Peter Welch (VT-AL), and Sara Jacobs (CA-53), as well as speakers Jeremy Ben-Ami, President of J Street, and Hadar Susskind, President and CEO, Americans for Peace Now here and download photos here.
The Two-State Solution Act will accelerate progress towards a two-state solution and discourage steps that push one out of reach. This bill:
Clarifies the distinction between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories and reverses policies put in place by the Trump administration that removed such distinctions;
Reaffirms U.S. security assistance to Israel; makes clear that there should be robust oversight over that assistance (like taxpayer support to other countries), and that the authorizations for security assistance to Israel under the Security Assistance Act of 2000 and the Arms Export Control Act do not authorize its use for activities that perpetuate the occupation or enable de facto or de jure annexation;
Outlines the need for programming in the occupied Palestinian territories to promote human rights, democracy, and rule of law, and to strengthen civil society organizations, and authorizes dedicated funding for such programming;
Creates a trigger that terminates the designation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as a terrorist organization when the Palestinians have been certified to be in compliance with the Taylor Force Act, incentivizing compliance with the Taylor Force Act and allowing for the reopening of the PLO foreign mission in Washington, DC; and
Enhances people-to-people programming for Israelis and Palestinians, authorizing funding for shared educational opportunities and youth activities.
The Two-State Solution Act is endorsed by Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, Foreign Policy for America, J Street and Partners for Progressive Israel. In addition to Congressman Lowenthal, the bill is cosponsored by Reps. Don Beyer (VA-08), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Dan Kildee (MI-05), Annie Kuster (NH-02), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Jim McGovern (MA-02), David Price (NC-04), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Peter Welch (VT-AL) and John Yarmuth (KY-03).