U.S. Representative Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02), a member of the House Republican Israel Caucus, today issued the following statement after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address to a joint session of Congress:
"I unequivocally agree with the terms and conditions laid out by Prime Minister Netanyahu to the Congress and the American people. His leadership and voice are critical if a two-state solution is to be reached. I was deeply disappointed that President Obama attempted to take the negotiations out of Israel's hands unilaterally. The lack of clarity and certainty of U.S. policy to the Israeli-Palestinian issue must be immediately addressed. Israel and the U.S. have long been close allies, and those regional issues that threaten Israel, threaten American interests. I will continue to stand strong with Israel in support of their right to protect its citizens and territory."
During a Capitol Hill meeting with South Jersey representatives of AIPAC, LoBiondo announced that he will cosponsor House Resolution 268. Introduced by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, H. Res. 268 would:
Ø Reaffirms support for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states, a democratic, Jewish state of Israel and a democratic Palestinian state living in peace and mutual recognition.
Ø States that any Palestinian unity government must forswear terrorism, accept Israel's right to exist, and reaffirm previous agreements made with Israel.
Ø Opposes any attempt to establish or seek recognition of a Palestinian state outside of an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians.
Ø Urges Palestinian leaders to cease efforts at circumventing the negotiation process, including through a unilateral declaration of statehood or by seeking recognition of a Palestinian state from other nations or the United Nations (U.N.).
Ø Supports the Administration's opposition to a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.
Ø Affirms that Palestinian efforts to circumvent direct negotiations will harm U.S.-Palestinian relations and will have implications for U.S. assistance programs for the Palestinians and the Palestinians Authority (PA).
Ø Reaffirms the U.S. statutory requirement precluding assistance to a PA that includes Hamas unless that PA and all its ministers accept Israel's right to exist and all prior agreements and understandings with the United States and Israel.