JTA — Congressman Brad Sherman is about as stalwart a pro-Israel lawmaker as it gets.
The California Democrat helped found the Israel Project. He’s been a leader in initiating and advancing pro-Israel legislation, and has for decades warned about Iran’s nuclear intentions. He is one of just 25 Democrats who voted to disapprove of the Iran nuclear deal in September.
At a hearing Thursday by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Palestinian incitement, which culminated in a unanimous vote to condemn it, he did what no other lawmaker did: Condemn incitement on the Israeli side. And he included among those doing Israel “immeasurable harm” Israeli leaders who oppose the two-state solution.
Sherman starts, at the 49-minute mark in the video of the hearing, by condemning those who peddle “glorification” of terrorist deeds. “Arab leaders have much to answer for,” he says.
Then he adds: “As to Israel, in the days of the Roman Empire, those zealots who claimed to be the most pro-Israel did enormous harm. So now we see a few fringe Israeli leaders who want to disturb the status quo on the Temple Mount. They, too, are harmful. They provide a pretext for those who incite terrorism in Israel and those who seek delegitimization abroad.
“As to two-state solution, I don’t blame those who are pessimistic, I would doubt the sanity of anyone who bubbled with optimism about a two-state solution. But those who don’t voice pessimism about a two state solution — but those few Israeli leaders who oppose a two-state solution, also do immeasurable harm.”