US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
US Secretary of State Antony BlinkenState Department Photo by Freddie Everett

A group of 80 Democrats on Friday urged the Biden administration to actively work against counterproductive measures that endanger a potential two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict, Haaretz reports.

The members of Congress — led by key Democratic caucus members Reps. David Price, Barbara Lee, Jennifer Wexton and Joaquin Castro — said in a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken they were writing with “concern and urgency regarding ongoing developments that serve as flashpoints for escalating violence in the region and push a two-state solution further out of reach.”

“Dangerous flashpoints related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have a way of rapidly increasing tension and violence in the region without active U.S. leadership,” they wrote, saying the US “must harness its substantial influence to exercise leadership and continue its historical role as an honest broker in ending this conflict and serve as a clear, consistent voice for peace and human rights.

“It is therefore critical that the United States actively work to ensure both parties remain committed to halting counterproductive measures that undermine the viability of two states for two peoples,” they added.

The lawmakers highlighted five points of concern, requesting an update on concrete steps undertaken by the Biden administration aimed at deterring harmful actions. The first such point is the “rise in settler violence committed against Palestinians and Palestinian property, including instances of non-intervention or even aiding and abetting of such attacks by Israeli forces.”

They also raise the increase in Israeli approval of permits, tenders and housing starts for construction of homes in Judea and Samaria, as well as the retroactive legalization of outposts in the region. They also flagged the continued demolitions or threats of demolitions of Palestinian Arab homes, business and infrastructure, as well as the inequitable rates of approval of building permits for Palestinians.

They also raised concerns on the Palestinian Arab side, noting the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing prisoner payments program, “which the PA has acknowledged a willingness to reform, but on which it has not taken meaningful action."

“It is clear that more must be done,” they stated.

The Biden administration has expressed support for the two-state solution in a policy shift from the previous administration of Donald Trump.

While Trump said while in office he thought the two-state solution “works best”, he also said he would be comfortable with what the sides ultimately decide on.

Blinken last year reaffirmed US support for a two-state solution, saying it is the only way to provide hope to Israelis and Palestinian Arabs that they can live "with equal measures of security, of peace and dignity."

While the Biden administration has said it backs the Abraham Accords, in which Israel normalized ties with several Arab nations, senior State Department officials have made clear the administration does not view the accords as a substitute for the two-state solution.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)