US Senator Wants to Punish Israel for Lack of Palestinian State

US Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) called for the Biden administration to make its support of Israel contingent on the development of a Palestinian state.

“If we’re going to continue to support the Israeli government, they have to be engaged in the ongoing work of a future Palestinian state—and that doesn’t seem to be the policy of this government right now,” Murphy said, criticizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Murphy wants America to lessen its support for the Jewish state unless he sees significant progress toward a two-state solution. “Whether it’s a condition of helping Israel, whether it’s a condition of visits to the United States [of Israeli officials], we have to send the message that this attack on the two-state solution, in particular, is very bad for the relationship between the United States and Israel in the long term,” Murphy added.

Senator Murphy likely feels he is speaking for many Americans who have bought into the idea that a Palestinian state will solve all the problems of the Middle East. But he is effectively hoping to hold Israel hostage until it gives in to the Palestinian Authority’s demands. This stance challenges Israel’s sovereignty over the land to which it holds divine, legal, and historical claim. 

It also diminishes the real danger that Israel already faces that will grow if its enemies have their way. Lest we forget, Israel has already offered the Palestinians their own independent state five times; and Palestinian leadership has rejected each offer, refusing any solution that allows a Jewish state in the Jewish people’s historical homeland. 

The U.S.-Israeli partnership is greatly valuable to both parties. Senator Murphy should tread lightly moving forward, as his plea to have the Biden administration withhold support from Israel is not well thought out, threatens Israel’s security, and puts the mutual benefits the U.S. and Israel enjoy at risk.