Don’t get upset that Senate Resolution 321 fails to mention the source of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Israel’s 40 year (some would say, 60 year if you include the ethnic cleansing of 1948) military occupation of the Palestinian people. Don’t get upset about the tens of thousands of house demolitions, destruction of untold Palestinian farms and orchards, and the killing of thousands of civilians including children, and resisters, who got in the way of the slow colonization of the West Bank and Gaza (until recently). Don’t get upset that the bill even repeats Israeli hasbara (propaganda) that attempts to reframe the incessant military occupation as a fight against terrorism. Don’t get angry. The bill is a whitewash of Israeli war crimes, no doubt.

But the bill does demonstrate that the United States Senate is fed up with Israeli hegemony and its despicable behavior toward the dispossessed Palestinian people. In its language, it does call for two states “side by side.” That does not mean Palestinian Bantustans inside of a Greater Israel. It means “side by side.” Only two sovereign states conform to this phrase.

Although neither Hillary nor Obama are signed on, perhaps waiting for return phone calls from AIPAC on which way to go, the support of 37 Senators is a strong beginning to end this conflict.

With the Annapolis conference already becoming a farce, people action is needed (see below).
This communication was just received from the Council for the National Interest.

Dear CNI members:

Senators Feinstein and Lugar reintroduced their notable Senate resolution calling for active U.S. engagement to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  The bill, now officially S.Res.321, currently has a total of 37 cosponsors.

Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. (Introduced in Senate)

1st Session
S. RES. 321

Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.


September 19, 2007

Mrs. FEINSTEIN (for herself, Mr. LUGAR, Mr. DODD, Mr. HAGEL, Mr. AKAKA, Mr. BAUCUS, Mr. BINGAMAN, Mr. BROWN, Mr. BYRD, Mr. BURR, Ms. CANTWELL, Mr. CASEY, Mr. CRAIG, Mr. DURBIN, Mr. FEINGOLD, Mr. HARKIN, Mrs. HUTCHISON, Mr. KENNEDY, Mr. KERRY, Ms. KLOBUCHAR, Mr. KOHL, Mr. LEAHY, Mr. LEVIN, Mr. LOTT, Mr. NELSON of Florida, Mr. REED, Ms. SNOWE, Mr. SUNUNU, Mr. VOINOVICH, Mr. WEBB, Mr. WHITEHOUSE, Mr. WYDEN, Mr. SMITH, Mr. SPECTER, Mrs. MURRAY, and Ms. STABENOW) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Whereas ending the violence and terror that have devastated the State of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza since September 2000 is in the vital interests of the United States, Israel, and the Palestinian people;

Whereas the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict strengthens extremists and opponents of peace throughout the region;

Whereas more than 7 years of violence, terror, and military engagement have demonstrated that armed force alone will not solve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute;

Whereas the vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians want to put an end to decades of confrontation and conflict and live in peaceful coexistence, mutual dignity, and security, based on a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace;

Whereas on May 24, 2006, addressing a Joint Session of the United States Congress, Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert reiterated the Government of Israel’s position that `In a few years, [the Palestinians] could be living in a Palestinian state, side by side in peace and security with Israel, a Palestinian state which Israel and the international community would help thrive’;

Whereas, in his speech before the Palestinian Legislative Council on February 18, 2006, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said, `We are confident that there is no military solution to the conflict. Negotiations between us as equal partners should put a long-due end to the cycle of violence . . . Let us live in two neighboring states’;

Whereas, in June 2002, the President of the United States presented his vision of `two states, living side by side in peace and security’, and has since repeatedly reaffirmed this position;

Whereas events of the past 18 months, including the victory of Hamas in Palestinian legislative elections, the continued firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel, and the escalating intra-Palestinian violence and chaos, culminating in the June 2007 brutal takeover of Gaza by Hamas, make the achievement of President Bush’s vision even more difficult;

Whereas, on June 27, 2007, the Quartet (the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations) appointed former British Prime Minister Tony Blair special envoy to the Middle East with a focus on mobilizing assistance to the Palestinians and promoting economic development and institutional governance;

Whereas a robust and high-level American diplomatic presence on the ground is critical to bringing Israelis and Palestinians together to make the tough decisions necessary to achieving a permanent resolution to the conflict;

Whereas June 2007 marked the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War between Israel and a coalition of Arab states;

Whereas all parties should use the occasion of this anniversary to redouble their efforts to achieve peace; and

Whereas achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace could have significant positive impacts on security and stability in the region: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate–

(1) reaffirms its commitment to a true and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the establishment of 2 states, the State of Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, and with recognized borders;
(2) denounces the use of violence and terror and reaffirms its unwavering commitment to Israel’s security;
(3) calls on President Bush to pursue a robust diplomatic effort to engage the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, begin negotiations, and make a 2-state settlement a top priority;
(4) urges President Bush to consider appointing as Special Envoy for Middle East Peace an individual who has held cabinet rank or someone equally qualified, with an extensive knowledge of foreign affairs generally and the Middle East region in particular;
(5) calls on Hamas to recognize the State of Israel’s right to exist, to renounce and end all terror and incitement, and to accept past agreements and obligations with the State of Israel;
(6) calls on moderate Arab states in the region to intensify their diplomatic efforts toward a 2-state solution and welcomes the Arab League Peace Initiative; and
(7) calls on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to embrace efforts to achieve peace and refrain from taking any actions that would prejudice the outcome of final status negotiations.

The Council for the National Interest calls on its members to support the Feinstein-Lugar resolution on Israeli-Palestinian peace (S.Res.321). The Feinstein-Lugar bill urges President Bush to “pursue a robust diplomatic effort to engage the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, begin negotiations, and make a 2-state settlement a top priority” and “welcomes the Arab League Peace Initiative” as an example of efforts by Arab states towards a diplomatic solution to the decades-old conflict.

Call your Senators today and ask them vote for S.Res.321! You can also use the form we provide on our website to send a message to your Senators’ offices. Other groups supporting this legislation include: Churches for Middle East Peace, Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, Americans for Peace Now, the Israel Policy Forum, the Arab American Institute and the American Task Force on Palestine.

To send a message to your Senators, click here: