In a letter obtained by a reliable news source, Democratic lawmakers Senator Cory Booker and Representative Dan Goldman voiced their concerns to President Joe Biden about the ongoing violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank. The lawmakers emphasized that this violence poses a threat to regional peace, Palestinian human rights, Israel’s security, and the efforts to prevent the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As strong supporters of a two-state solution, Booker and Goldman highlighted the detrimental impact that settler violence has on the Palestinian Authority. They view the Palestinian Authority as a crucial partner in the endeavor to bring unity between Gaza and the West Bank, ultimately leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
“We strongly believe that a two-state solution remains the only genuine option to achieve a just, secure, and prosperous future for both Israelis and Palestinians,” wrote the lawmakers. “However, settler violence against Palestinian civilians destroys the very seeds of trust and cooperation needed to make progress toward a two-state outcome and an enduring peace in the region.”
The White House has yet to respond to the letter. This issue of Israeli violence against Palestinians in the West Bank has strained the relationship between the United States and Israel.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken previously conveyed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that these incidents are “unacceptable,” according to the State Department. As Biden’s allies with strong ties to Israel, Booker and Goldman are seeking to support his stance during a delicate time for his domestic politics and relationship with Netanyahu.
While the letter falls short of demanding a cease-fire, it aligns with the calls from certain Democratic members of Congress and progressive activists to pressure Israel on the issue. Pro-Palestinian demonstrations have been taking place to influence the Biden administration and Democratic lawmakers.
Recent acts of civil disobedience, such as the blocking of access to the Democratic National Committee and the arrest of pro-Palestinian protesters outside Goldman’s Brooklyn office, highlight the growing pressure on addressing this matter.
In addition to their broader plea to address violence in the West Bank, Booker and Goldman specifically ask President Biden to ensure that any weapons provided by the U.S. to Israel are not used to perpetuate settler violence. They call for the administration to seek proper assurances from the Israeli government regarding the use of such weapons.
The lawmakers’ letter underscores the importance of addressing Israeli settler violence in the West Bank and urges President Biden to take decisive action in order to foster trust, cooperation, and ultimately, a lasting peace in the region.