Senators Pressure Obama to Condemn
By Jordain Carney
A bipartisan group of senators is
backing a resolution supporting Israel amid an uptick in Israeli-Palestinian
Senators are using the resolution
to pressure President Obama, as well as the international community, to condemn
forcefully the attacks against Israelis. They also want Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas to take steps to curb the violence and build on security
cooperation with Israel.
Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.),
Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John Cornyn (R-Texas),
Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Marco Rubio
(R-Fla.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are backing a
resolution to show "solidarity" with Israel after a recent spate of
attacks. Graham and Rubio are both running for the Republican presidential
Blumenthal, in a statement, said
that he supports Israel "in defending itself against these tragic and
indiscriminate Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli citizens."
attacks on innocent Israeli civilians follow President Abbas’ dangerous
disavowal of commitments made during the peace process. These attacks must
be stopped," he added.
The resolution comes after Secretary
of State John Kerry announced late
last month that Israel and Jordan have agreed to take steps to ease
tensions at the holy site in Jerusalem that Jews refer to as the
Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, or al-Aqsa Mosque.
The senators are using the
proposal to back the agreement, including the requirement to install security
cameras to help with around-the-clock video monitoring.
Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat told The
Hill last month that the recent string of violence wouldn't be stopped
without addressing broader Israel-Palestenian tensions. Along that vein, the
senators' resolution also backs restarting peace talks aimed at ending the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, calling "direct discussions" the
Kerry previously came under fire
from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is running for president, who said he should
resign if he wasn't willing to disavow comments claiming Israelis
have some responsibility for the recent rash of violence.