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article imageUS House passes motion opposing Israeli annexation of West Bank

By Ken Hanly     Dec 8, 2019 in Politics
The US House of Representatives on Friday passed a resolution that expressed opposition to Israel carrying out any unilateral annexations in the occupied West Bank and also expressed continuing support for a two-state solution.
The vote was passed 226-188 with several strong Israeli critics not voting for it because of weak language. The detailed votes can be found here.
Bill contradicts President Trump.
Recent positions put forth by Trump have been both pro-occupation and pro-annexation. The bill may also be warning Netanyahu against any hasty annexations such as that of the Jordan Valley that he has been advocating. As a recent article notes: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Tuesday that if reelected, he will apply sovereignty over all settlements in Judea and Samaria, starting with the Jordan Valley. Netanyahu said the steps would be taken in coordination with the administration of US President Donald Trump. "
5 Republicans voted against the bill and 4 Democrats: "On Friday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.Res.326, a resolution that reaffirms the United States’ commitment to a two-state solution. Nearly every Republican voted against the legislation, but the only Democrats to oppose it were Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA)."
Some found problems with the bill
In order to try to get Republican support any mention of "occupation" was omitted. A reference to a "broad consensus" on the two-state solution was also removed though the resolution continued to support the two-state solution. Also there was an addition that the US continued to support unconditional military aid for Israel. Ilhan Omar documented her objections in detail that included removing any reference to the occupation and including the unconditional granting of military aid to Israel: “The goal of these changes was clear: to pass a resolution that will not actually bring a resolution to this conflict..That’s why the resolution doesn’t have support from Palestinians in Congress or Palestinian advocates. We are told to swallow these changes in the name of ‘pragmatism.’ But there is nothing “pragmatic” about a vote that makes peace unachievable.”
The approval of an unconditional granting of military aid to Israel is a green light for Israel to ignore parts of the resolution such as that disapproving annexation. Israel is being told in effect that the US would provide military aid anyway. Many Republicans are anti-interventionist and disapprove the idea of telling Israel what it should or should not do and so opposed the bill. Many of course support Trump's positions.
More about US Israel relations, Israeli annexation, Benjamin netanyahu
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