Congressman Smith Statement on H.Res. 11

Yesterday, Congressman Smith voted for H.Res.11, which objects to the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2234 that passed unanimously, with the United States abstaining, on December 23, 2016.

January 6, 2017

“I voted in favor of H.Res. 11, although I have ongoing concerns about the resolution. At the end of the day, I fully support Israel. As one of our strongest allies, Israel has been under threat since its creation, and the multi-faceted relationship we share with the Israelis requires our steadfast support.

“My concerns stem from my deep apprehensions that are shared by many Israelis. Namely, that Israel’s expanded settlements have made a two-state solution much more difficult. At the same time, Palestinians have taken steps that have made it hard to achieve peace in the region. Continued violence against Israel is a serious obstacle to peace. The Palestinians refuse to engage in direct negotiations with Israel and opt to go to the United Nations, leading to a more one-sided approach. Many also refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist and their legitimate security concerns.

“Looking ahead, a very real issue is the number of Israelis - including at times, Prime Minister Netanyahu - who push Israel down a path that seems to make a two-state solution impossible. Without a legitimate Palestinian state, Israel will control the West Bank. If that were to happen, Israel would either allow Palestinians to vote, and cease to be a Jewish state; or they will not permit Palestinians to vote and would cease to be a democratic state. Neither of these outcomes will lead to peace. Both Palestinians and Israelis must recognize the imperative for a two-state solution. Without it, all we will get is the violence and instability the region has suffered for generations.”