74 US lawmakers sign J Street letter calling for 2-state accord
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74 US lawmakers sign J Street letter calling for 2-state accord

Democrats urge Obama to show support for solution to Middle East conflict

A number of congresswomen, among them signatories to the letter, in Kalandia on a J Street sponsored trip in February. (photo credit: JTA/J Street)
A number of congresswomen, among them signatories to the letter, in Kalandia on a J Street sponsored trip in February. (photo credit: JTA/J Street)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A J Street-backed letter from 74 Congressional lawmakers urged President Obama to reaffirm support for a two-state solution in the Middle East.

The members of the U.S. House of Representatives, all Democrats, signed on to what was the key agenda item during J Street’s advocacy day on March 27, which coincided with its annual conference.

“In our view, support for a two-state resolution is inseparable from such support for Israel, its special relationship with the United States, and its very survival as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people,” the letter said.

Seven Jewish members signed on to the letter, including two of the letter’s chief sponsors, Reps. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and John Yarmuth (D-Ky.).  Other notable Jewish members to sign the letter were Reps. Susan Davis (D-Calif.), Bob Filner (D-Calif.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).

Signatories also included leaders, notably Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

In a press release announcing the letter’s supporters, J Street’s director of government affairs Dylan Williams noted that the signers “are making clear that to be pro-Israel is to support active U.S. engagement in achieving a two-state solution.”

“If the U.S. Congress does not make a viable resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a cornerstone of foreign policy in the region, then we are not truly helping Israel to face one its most critical challenges,” Williams said in the press release.

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