More than 250 Congressmen, including 76 senators, have signed a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, telling him “that peace cannot come while terrorism continues to wrack Israel.”
The letter was initiated on April 30 by Democratic Senators Christopher Dodd and Arlen Specter and Republican Senators Johnny Isakson and John Thune, according to New York Times journalist Edwin Black. He wrote on The Cutting Edge website that the House of Representatives version was rallied by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Republican Whip Eric Cantor.
The letter has been signed by 195 members of the House in addition to the 76 senators, and it sends a clears message to the White House about Israel’s security.
“The notion that Obama was linking Jerusalem's negotiations with Palestinians to its ability to thwart nuclear annihilation rankled many in the Jewish and non-Jewish Israel support community,” Black wrote. “In a word, Israel has gone over the president’s head and appealed directly to the Congress.”
The Congressmen wrote the president, a day after he met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, “We are writing out of our shared concern over 60 years of conflict in the Middle East, and a mutual desire to see peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
“We believe that achievement of a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians requires adherence to some key principles. These include an understanding that while the United States has an important role to play, the parties themselves are the ones who will need to negotiate and live with whatever agreement is reached. As we work closely with our democratic ally, Israel, we must take into account the risks it will face in any peace agreement.
"We must also continue to insist on the absolute Palestinian commitment to ending terrorist violence and to building the institutions necessary for a viable Palestinian state living side-by-side, in peace with the Jewish state of Israel."