INTRODUCTION OF A BIPARTISAN RESOLUTION EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR ADDRESSING THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT IN A CONCURRENT TRACK WITH THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE PROCESS AND COMMENDING ARAB AND MUSLIM...
(Extensions of Remarks - June 20, 2017)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

        

[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E855]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




    INTRODUCTION OF A BIPARTISAN RESOLUTION EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR 
  ADDRESSING THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT IN A CONCURRENT TRACK WITH THE 
   ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE PROCESS AND COMMENDING ARAB AND MUSLIM-
   MAJORITY STATES THAT HAVE IMPROVED BILATERAL RELATIONS WITH ISRAEL

                                 ______
                                 

                         HON. ALCEE L. HASTINGS

                               of florida

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, June 20, 2017

  Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce a bipartisan 
resolution supporting the concurrent-track approach to the Israeli-
Palestinian peace process. I want to acknowledge and thank 
Representative Eliot Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on 
Foreign Affairs, and my friend and colleague across the aisle, 
Representative David Schweikert, for introducing this resolution with 
me.
  There is no reason to parse words: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict 
presents an immensely difficult challenge. There are no easy answers. 
Successive United States Presidential administrations have pursued 
peace agreements between the parties for over 30 years, from the 1982 
Reagan Plan for Middle East Peace to the 1993 Oslo Accords, Camp David 
Summit, Clinton Parameters, Annapolis Conference, and efforts to 
restart the peace process under the Obama Administration. Today, it 
seems as if progress has ground to a halt.
  The relationship between America and Israel is paramount. We stand 
with our ally and continue to support efforts to move the peace process 
forward, whenever and in any way possible. Despite lack of progress, 
Israel and some of her Arab neighbors have worked quietly and behind 
the scenes to improve bilateral relations in recent years. Common 
threats posed by Iran and the Islamic State have allowed for new 
limited dialogues to emerge. However limited they may be, these 
interactions present a new approach for improving the outlook of the 
Middle East.
  The concurrent-track approach, sometimes referred to as the 
``outside-in'' approach, encourages Arab and Muslim-majority states to 
improve bilateral relations with Israel, as Israel and the Palestinian 
Authority concurrently work to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace 
process. Although there are rarely, if ever, easy solutions to 
challenges as complex as bringing lasting peace to the Middle East, 
Congress should encourage and support those states willing to engage in 
that endeavor.
  The resolution expresses support for the concurrent track approach, 
and commends Arab and Muslim-majority states that have already taken 
steps to improve their bilateral relations with Israel. I, like nearly 
all of my colleagues in Congress, continue to support a two-state 
solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, negotiated between the 
State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and resulting in two 
states for two peoples, living side-by-side in peace, security, and 
mutual recognition. I believe this is the only way to ensure that both 
the Israeli people and the Palestinian people can have a sovereign 
homeland. The inability to achieve a two-state solution threatens the 
State of Israel's security and identity as the democratic homeland of 
the Jewish people, just as it impedes the well-being and self-
determination of the Palestinian people.
  Earlier this month, we marked the 50th Anniversary of Israel's Six-
Day War and the anniversary of the re-unification of Jerusalem. For the 
19 years Jerusalem was divided, Jews were forced from the Jewish 
Quarter and the Old City, barred from Holy sites, and Jewish cemeteries 
and synagogues were vandalized. In the days leading up to the six-day 
war, the armies of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria massed on Israel's borders, 
threatening the Jewish people with annihilation for the second time in 
just two decades. The Israeli people fought for their survival and 
achieved a miraculous victory. In reuniting the city, Jerusalem once 
again became a place where people of all faiths can worship.
  Despite this victory, the final status of Jerusalem and the safety of 
the State of Israel and its people, regardless of ethnicity or 
religion, will not be secured until peace is achieved.
  Mr. Speaker, I am proud to introduce this bipartisan resolution 
today, and urge its speedy consideration and passage by this body.

                          ____________________