US House Votes Against Israeli Annexation of West Bank

Bill vague on details, but backs two-state solution

In a 226-188 vote, the House on Friday voted in a resolution which expressed opposition to Israel carrying out unilateral annexations in the occupied West Bank, and reiterated US support of a two-state solution.

The resolution was intended both to contradict President Trump, whose recent positions have been pro-occupation and pro-annexation, as well as to potentially warn Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against any hasty annexations, something he’s been advocating recently.

The bill was hardly perfect, which meant a lot of the voting on the margins defied conventional wisdom. Some traditional critics of Israel voted against the bill over language, and still others rejected the bill because it proscribed a US-imposed solution.

The “gang of four” stood as four Democrats opposing the resolution, and did so because the bill’s final version removed any mention of settlements, of Israel being an occupying power, and watered down language about the two-state solution at the behest of more centrist Democrats.

That, combined with an amendment which assured unconditional continuation of US military aid to Israel, also undercut the idea that the US could actually take an anti-annexation stance, or do anything if Israel ignores Congress.

At the same time, the idea that it is up to the US to do something was itself troubling to non-interventionist Republicans, who see the option of the US staying out of the situation, as an alternative to either endorsing annexation or forbidding it.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.