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Would Democrats Back an Obama UN Push for Two States in Israel-Palestine?

Public engagement with Democrats can change the balance of forces on Israel-Palestine diplomacy.

The Obama administration has broadcast that since Benjamin Netanyahu announced that there will never be a Palestinian state so long as Netanyahu remains Prime Minister of Israel, the US may end its policy of blocking consideration of the Israel-Palestine conflict at the United Nations Security Council. In particular, the US may support a Security Council resolution that lays out parameters for a diplomatic resolution of the conflict, and the US may support a resolution against Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

If the Obama administration makes such a move, will Democrats support it? Here is some preliminary evidence that Democrats will be ready to support the administration.

The Jewish Daily Forward reports that J Street will support such a push at the UN by the Obama administration:

In terms of policy, taking on the fight means stating J Street’s open support to moving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the United Nations Security Council…

This position puts J Street at odds with most other pro-Israel organizations, led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which have been preparing to lobby against the administration’s move.

In addition, the Forward notes, J Street is urging the administration to challenge the flow of US tax dollars to Israeli settlements in the West Bank:

The group is also calling on the U.S. government, Ben-Ami said, to “examine how it can eliminate funding” to Jewish settlements in the West Bank by taking a closer look at how government agencies provide funding to Israel and the way the IRS views donations going to settlements. J Street called on its members and supporters to make sure the Jewish charitable organizations they donate to do not support settlers beyond the Green Line.

Americans for Peace Now is calling on its supporters to “Stand Up for Peace, Stand Up to Bibi“:

The recent Israeli elections definitively unmasked the real Benjamin Netanyahu.

– Netanyahu cynically campaigned as an adversary of President Obama
– Netanyahu brazenly ruled out a two-state peace agreement with the Palestinians
– Netanyahu flagrantly incited racism and intolerance in the Israeli body politic
President Obama needs to hear from you today! Tell him that you will support him as he stands up to Bibi – including at the UN, with respect to a potential nuclear agreement with Iran, with respect to international pressure on settlements, and with respect to the Palestinians.

More than 20,000 Americans have signed a petition to President Obama at MoveOn, urging him to lift the “diplomatic shield” that has protected Netanyahu’s policies towards the Palestinians from censure at the United Nations Security Council.

We are on uncharted political terrain. Not so long ago, it would have been hard to imagine that 60 Democrats would ostentatiously skip a speech by Netanyahu to a joint session of Congress. Not so long ago, AIPAC – which backed Netanyahu’s speech – was perceived as invincible in Washington. But so far, AIPAC has failed in its efforts to get congressional Democrats to join with Republicans to try to blow up diplomacy with Iran.

Public engagement with congressional Democrats has helped change the balance of forces on Iran diplomacy. Public engagement with congressional Democrats can help change the balance of forces on Israel-Palestine diplomacy. You can add your voice here.

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