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WASHINGTON: More than a third of the US Senate’s Democrats called on President Joe Biden’s administration Wednesday to take “bold” action toward establishing a Palestinian state, in the latest pushback against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The letter to Biden comes days after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the country’s highest-ranking Jewish elected leader and longtime advocate for Israel, sent shock waves with a speech criticizing Netanyahu’s conduct of the Gaza war and urging new Israeli elections.

Nineteen Democratic senators led by Tom Carper, a longtime ally of Biden from his home state of Delaware, in the letter said that the Middle East crisis had “reached an inflection point” that required US leadership beyond past “facilitation” of Israeli-Palestinian talks.

“As such, we request the Biden administration promptly establish a bold, public framework outlining the steps necessary” to establish a Palestinian state over both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the senators wrote. The senators said an independent Palestinian state would be “non-militarized” — a terminology embraced by former president Bill Clinton in his peace push two decades ago — and would both recognize Israel and renounce Hamas, whose bloody October 7 attack in Israel triggered the massive military operation.

The senators called for a “regional peace initiative” that would integrate Israel — an allusion to ongoing attempts to persuade Saudi Arabia to offer normalization with Israel, the focus of the latest visit to the kingdom by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Biden and Blinken have repeatedly voiced support for a two-state solution but did little to advance it before the war, aware that Netanyahu and his hard-right government are firmly against the idea.

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Az_Iz Mar 21, 2024 06:30am
The letter will end up in a dustbin.
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