House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) initiated a letter that is being sent to 40 key European heads of state urging them to stand with the Obama Administration in opposing unilateral action by the Palestinian Authority at the United Nations. As of today, 58 House Democrats have signed on to the letter. The signatories to the letter hope their effort will prevent “devastating consequences for the peace process” that they see as inevitable should the Palestinians proceed unilaterally at the UN.
Bellow is the full text of the letter:
We write on a matter of great urgency, on the eve of the United Nations General Assembly meeting. It is our understanding that the leadership of the Palestinian Authority will pursue a resolution at the United Nations - in either or both the Security Council and the General Assembly - to grant the Palestinians the equivalent of statehood and/or prejudge final issues, including borders and the status of Jerusalem. One of the major goals of this effort is for the Palestinians to better position themselves to petition the International Criminal Court, very possibly bogging down the court for the foreseeable future.
It is our strong belief that such unilateral action would have devastating consequences for the peace process and the Palestinians themselves. Accordingly, we urge you in the strongest terms not to support this effort.
We believe that the only way to achieve a two-state solution is through direct negotiations leading to a peace treaty fully accepted by both governments and by both peoples. A just and lasting peace cannot and must not be imposed on the parties. If the Palestinians pursue such a unilateral approach, it violates the letter and spirit of the Oslo Accords and will deal a significant blow to future negotiations. Given the expectations gap among the Palestinian public, such action could lead to widespread violence on the ground, jeopardizing the West Bank’s impressive economic and security gains over recent years. There is also a substantial risk of more broadly inflaming the region and increasing violence at a time of already great instability. Finally, the United States will reconsider its assistance program for the Palestinian Authority and other aspects of U.S.-Palestinian relations if they choose to pursue such a unilateral effort.
We are confident that your government shares the United States’ commitment to a comprehensive resolution of the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. That outcome can only be achieved through direct negotiations. A vote on a unilateral UN resolution will likely set prospects for peace back years.
Our bilateral relationship is based on certain fundamental values. We urge you to vote those values, and to stand with the United States in not supporting unilateral action at the UN that would impede the peace we all seek.
Thank you for your consideration of our views.
Steny H. Hoyer, Democratic Whip
Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader
Howard Berman, Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee
Nita Lowey, Ranking Member on the Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee
Henry Waxman, Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee
Eleanor Holmes Norton
C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
To view the full press release from the Office of the Democratic Whip, please click here.