A group of Democratic senators have been circulating a new, watered-down letter warning against Israel annexing parts of the West Bank. It comes after they pushed forward a draft warning that annexation would destroy bipartisan support for the Jewish state.
Jewish Insider first reported the development on Sunday.
Like the original letter, the latest version was drafted by Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
The initial letter, addressed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz, stated, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we could not support that action and would sadly conclude that Israel no longer values the bipartisan support that Congress has provided it for decades.”
The latest version of the letter, obtained by Jewish Insider, says, “If you move forward with unilateral annexation, we could not support that action. This is consistent with long-standing American policy opposing unilateral actions by either party to the conflict. Pursuit of a viable, negotiated two state solution is essential to ensuring our shared democratic values and lasting bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.”
Additionally, instead of the word “threaten,” the updated version states that annexation would “undermine” the common values between the United States and Israel, and that such a move would have “a clear impact on”—not “severe ramifications for both” as stated in the first version—“Israel’s future and our vital bilateral and bipartisan relationship.”
Moreover, the new version replaced “Palestinian Authority” with “Palestinians.”
As of Thursday, the initial draft, which was pushed by J Street, garnered 10 signatures.
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