Jun 5, 2019

Scoop: Israel works to stop Senate resolution on two-state solution

Graham (L) with Netanyahu in Israel in 2015. Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO via Getty Images

Israel is trying to prevent the Senate from passing a bipartisan resolution endorsing a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israeli officials and congressional staffers tell me.

Why it matters: The resolution could put pressure on the White House as it prepares to release its long-awaited peace plan.

The backdrop: Since President Trump entered the Oval Office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has backtracked on his public support for a two-state solution.

  • The Trump administration has been careful not to publicly endorse it either, despite longstanding policy from both Republican and Democratic administrations.
  • White House officials say they haven't supported the two-state solution because it means different things for the Israelis and the Palestinians.

The resolution for was drafted by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen. Israeli officials told me it could be tabled soon and — as a bipartisan measure backed by a close Trump ally like Graham — would be expected to win a substantial majority.

  • Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to Washington, and other Israeli embassy officials have been lobbying Graham and Van Hollen to remove the words "two-state solution" from the text, Israeli officials and congressional staffers told me.
  • The Israeli diplomats have told Graham and Van Hollen they don't oppose a general resolution calling for direct negotiations between the parties with no preconditions, so long as it doesn't deal with the end game or the parameters of such talks.

State of play: Graham and Van Hollen have so far rejected the Israeli lobbying efforts.

  • Bridgett Frey, a spokeswoman for Van Hollen, told me: “Both Senators Van Hollen and Graham are long-time supporters of a two-state solution and are working on the best way to advance that commitment in Congress."
  • The Israeli embassy in Washington did not deny this account but refrained from commenting.

Go deeper

George Floyd updates

Protesters gather north of Lafayette Square near the White House during a demonstration against racism and police brutality, in Washington, D.C. on Saturday evening. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have been rallying in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events on Saturday.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct. A memorial service was held for Floyd in Raeford, North Carolina, near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor him until sunset.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 6,889,889 — Total deaths: 399,642 — Total recoveries — 3,085,326Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 1,920,061 — Total deaths: 109,802 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.
Updated 6 hours ago - World

In photos: People around the world rally against racism

Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people have continued to rally in cities across the world against racism and show their support this week for U.S. demonstrators protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.