Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today introduced a Senate resolution commending Secretary of State John Kerry for jumpstarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and called on negotiators to focus on a two-state solution to ensure a secure, lasting peace.
Senator Feinstein was joined on the resolution by Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).
“Resolving the longstanding conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis is in the fundamental interest of the United States,” said Feinstein. “Secretary Kerry’s efforts to get both sides to the negotiating table have paid off, but negotiators will need to make very difficult decisions over the next nine months to reach a lasting two-state agreement. This resolution affirms the Senate’s support for the diplomatic process, which I believe is the only way to reach an agreement that ensures Israel’s survival as a democratic state and fulfills the legitimate desire of the Palestinian people for a state of their own.”
Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and longtime Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat began preliminary negotiations in Washington on Monday. Secretary Kerry announced the resumption of talks on July 19. Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk was chosen to represent the United States in the talks.
The resolution introduced on Tuesday reads:
“Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that—
- a two-state solution is the only outcome to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which can ensure the State of Israel’s survival as a secure, democratic homeland for the Jewish people, and fulfill the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state of their own;
- achievement of a two-state solution that would enhance stability and security in the Middle East is a fundamental United States security interest;
- while only the parties themselves can make the difficult choices necessary to end their conflict, the United States remains indispensable to any viable effort to achieve that goal;
- Secretary of State John Kerry is to be commended for his tireless efforts to urgently advance a negotiated two-state solution; and
- the Senate pledges its support for a sustained United States diplomatic initiative to help the parties conclude an agreement to end their conflict.”