U.S. Representative Joe Walsh (R-IL), introduced on Monday a resolution to support Israel’s right to annex the West Bank in the event that the Palestinian Authority continues to push for a vote for its statehood at the United Nations. The resolution has 30 co-sponsors.
The resolution is modeled closely on a bill introduced in the Israeli Knesset and is the most extremist response yet to the Palestinian bid for statehood. “It’s clear that the United States needs to make a very strong statement,” Walsh said in an interview, “I would argue that the president should make this statement, but he’s not capable of making it. So, the House needs to make this statement, if the [Palestinian Authority] continues down this road of trying to get recognition of statehood, the U.S. will not stand for it. And we will respect Israel’s right to annex Judea and Samaria.”
Neither Walsh, nor his co-sponsors, have made any comment as to where this “right to annex” comes from, although invocations of religious sanction are perhaps the only imaginable source of explanation.
Somehow, as Walsh’s spokesman Justin Roth has explained, a perceived violation of the Oslo Accords grants Israel the right of plunder. “A major tenet of the Oslo Accords,” Roth said “is that the parties at least continue to negotiate in good faith and don’t do anything involving the international community without each other.”
Last week, nearly 60 House Democrats joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in calling for European heads of state to oppose the Palestinian Authority’s request for statehood.
Other congressmen have supported legislation that would strip the Palestinian Authority of U.S. funding if the initiative goes through, while a tougher bill — sponsored by Reps. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), Steve Rothman (D-N.J.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Robert Brady (D-Pa.) — would block funding to any country that votes with the Palestinians, which might include up to 120 nations if the PA decides to put it to the General Assembly.