Sen. Brian Schatz is sponsoring an amendment affirming support for a two state solution in Israel.
Just two Democratic senators didn’t sign on: John Fetterman and Joe Manchin.
A spokesman for Fetterman said the resolution should “include language stipulating the destruction of Hamas”
On Wednesday, Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii released an amendment to a forthcoming national security bill that affirms US support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
“What will determine the future of Israel and Palestine is whether or not there’s hope,” Schatz told reporters on Wednesday. “And the two-state solution has to be that hope.”
In a rare show of unity on the issue — which has increasingly become a source of division within the Democratic Party — nearly every single Democratic senator signed onto the amendment.
The only two who did not were Sens. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
In a statement to Business Insider, a Fetterman spokesman reiterated the Pennsylvania Democrat’s support for a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine, but said that he “strongly believes that this resolution should include language stipulating the destruction of Hamas as a precondition to peace.”
Manchin, meanwhile, indicated in a statement that his support for such a resolution is predicated on Palestinian recognition of Israel.
“Once a Palestinian government with its peoples’ best interests at heart agrees that Israel should be a state, I will be the first one to sign on to a bipartisan amendment supporting that Israel recognize a Palestinian state,” said Manchin.
Schatz’s amendment calls for a “negotiated comprehensive solution” to the conflict that would result in “two states with Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace, security, dignity, and mutual recognition.”
It also states that any such solution should ensure Israel’s “survival as a secure, democratic, and Jewish state” while fulfilling the “legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state of their own.”
It comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel’s security needs were “irreconcilable with a Palestinian state.”
“My insistence is what has prevented — over the years — the establishment of a Palestinian state that would have constituted an existential danger to Israel,” Netanyahu later said. “As long as I am prime minister, I will continue to strongly insist on this.”
“I think people were correctly alarmed at what Mr. Netanyahu said,” said Schatz.
Schatz said that he will not seek to force the amendment to be added to the forthcoming national security bill, which is expected to include changes to US immigration policy alongside billions of dollars in US aid to both Ukraine and Israel.
But the Hawaii Democrat said it was important to reiterating longstanding US policy on the matter, particularly as in light of Netanyahu’s comments and his colleagues’ concerns about the war, which has killed over 25,000 Palestinians.
“We think there should be a freer flow of humanitarian assistance,” said Schatz. “We are facing an emergency situation, we are facing a potential for famine, certainly the potential for cholera and other diseases that have to do with a lack of sanitation.”
No Republican senator signed onto the amendment, though Schatz told reporters that he was still having “very good conversations” about the matter with GOP colleagues.
Since the October 7 Hamas attack, Republicans have generally been staunchly supportive of Israel, declining to offer public criticisms of the ongoing war.
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