U.S. House opposes unilateral declaration of Palestinian state
The United States House of Representatives unanimously on Thursday approved a resolution opposing unilateral declaration of Palestinian state.
The resolution introduced by Rep. Howard Berman, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, slams Palestinian efforts to push the international community to recognize a state in such a manner as "true and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties."
The resolution calls on the U.S. administration to "deny recognition to any unilaterally declared Palestinian state and veto any resolution by the United Nations Security Council to establish or recognize a Palestinian state outside of an agreement negotiated by the two parties."
It also urges Palestinian leaders to "cease all efforts at circumventing the negotiation process, including efforts to gain recognition of a Palestinian state from other nations, within the United Nations, and in other international forums prior to achievement of a final agreement between Israel and the Palestinians… and calls upon foreign governments not to extend such recognition."
The pro-Israel lobby J Street issued a statement on Wednesday criticizing Berman's resolution, saying "it addresses only one issue standing in the way of peace"
In the statement, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami said that the resolution continued "a pattern in which overly one-sided resolutions are introduced and moved to the floor of the House without an adequate opportunity for debate, discussion and modification by the Members."
Earlier this month, Brazil announced it recognized a Palestinian state based on borders at the time of Israel's 1967 conquest of the West Bank, in response to a request made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Brazil was followed by Argentina and Uruguay that announced they also intended to support a declaration of a Palestinian state.
The Foreign Ministry called the announcements "regrettable" and said that Israel viewed this decision with severity, and it would not help change the situation between Israel and the Palestinians.
The European Union, meanwhile, decided earlier this week that it would make such a move only when "appropriate."