Washington, DC – Senators Dianne Feinstein, Richard G. Lugar, Christopher J. Dodd and Chuck Hagel today introduced a Resolution reaffirming the Senate’s commitment to a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on two states living side by side in peace and security.

It also calls on President Bush to launch a robust diplomatic effort to engage the Israelis and Palestinians; calls on moderate Arab states to intensify diplomatic efforts toward a two-state solution; and urges Israeli and Palestinian leaders to work toward peace.

The Resolution also denounces the use of violence and terror, and reaffirms the Senate’s commitment to Israel’s security.

Other co-sponsors include Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), John E. Sununu (R-NH), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

“A just resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, and a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace agreement, is in the national interest of the United States and should be a top priority in the region,” said Senator Feinstein (D-Calif.).

Achieving these objectives will open up new opportunities to address the major challenges in the region, including the Iraqi civil war, Syrian and Hezbollah influence in Lebanon, and Iran’s nuclear program.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is personally committed to bringing both sides together – but more needs to be done. I hope this Resolution encourages President Bush to make Israeli-Palestinian peace a top diplomatic priority. I also hope it leads Hamas to renounce terror, and encourages leaders of both sides to embrace peace.”

Senator Lugar (R-IN), ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said: “This Resolution reaffirms the United States’ commitment to achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians. On the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War, it is time to redouble our efforts to support the majority of Israelis and Palestinians who desire peace.

This Resolution echoes the recommendations of the Baker-Hamilton Commission and other distinguished experts who have called on the United States to engage in high-level diplomatic efforts in support of a just and lasting peace.”

“This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War,” said Senator Dodd (D-CT), “and it also marks the sixth year that President Bush has abdicated America’s responsibility to act as a broker for peace in this troubled region.

The effects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are not limited to the parties in conflict, or even the region – the effects are felt throughout the global community, and as a leader in this community, we must dedicate ourselves to finding a lasting solution to this conflict. I am hopeful that this Resolution motivates President Bush to undertake robust diplomacy with leaders in the region to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Senator Hagel (R-NE), said: “This resolution underscores the reality that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict frames and influences everything in the Middle East region.

I recently returned from a nine-day trip to Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Lebanon.  Nearly every leader and government official that I met stressed the urgency for new U.S. leadership efforts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

There will be no stability or security in the Middle East until all parties reach a higher ground of resolution based on common interests.”

The Resolution:

  1. reaffirms the Senate’s commitment to a true and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the establishment of two states, the State of Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, and with recognized borders;
  2. denounces the use of violence and terror and reaffirms its unwavering commitment to Israel’s security;
  3. calls on President Bush to pursue a robust diplomatic effort to engage the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, begin negotiations, and make a two-state settlement a top priority;
  4. urges President Bush to consider appointing as Special Envoy for Middle East Peace an individual who has held cabinet rank or someone equally qualified, with an extensive knowledge of foreign affairs generally and the Middle East region in particular;
  5. calls on the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority to recognize the State of Israel’s right to exist, to renounce and end all terror and incitement, and to accept past agreements and obligations with the State of Israel; 
  6. calls on moderate Arab states in the region to intensify their diplomatic efforts toward a two-state solution and welcomes the Arab League Peace Initiative; and
  7. calls on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to embrace efforts to achieve peace and refrain from taking any actions that would prejudice the outcome of final status negotiations;

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