In Letter, Phillips and Jewish Members of Congress Urge President Biden to Pursue Consistent and Creative Diplomatic Engagement in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

May 14, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-03) and 11 other Jewish Members of Congress sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging the Administration to facilitate de-escalation to stop the pain and suffering of both Israelis and Palestinians. 

Read the letter here and below: 

Dear President Biden,

As Jewish Members of Congress, we unequivocally condemn the abhorrent rocket attacks being launched by Hamas and other terrorist groups against innocent Israeli citizens. There can be no justification for indiscriminate acts of terrorism, and we support Israel’s right to defend its citizens against such violence. We grieve for the Israeli lives lost to these attacks and wish a speedy recovery for those injured.

We are also horrified by the loss of dozens of Palestinian civilian lives in Gaza, accompanied by many more wounded and considerable damage to residential and other structures. The Palestinians should know that the American people value their lives as we do Israeli lives, and recognize that they too have the right to live in safety, free from fear.

With more lives being lost each day, the United States cannot simply hope and wait for the situation to improve. The Biden Administration must urge an immediate ceasefire and lead efforts to facilitate de-escalation. American engagement, action and leadership are needed now to stop the pain and suffering of both Israelis and Palestinians.

We also remain deeply concerned by the violence in Jerusalem, including Israeli police violence, which preceded these attacks. We urge all parties to exercise restraint and encourage the Israeli government to permanently halt the unjust eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem.

We firmly believe that the violence we are seeing this month, which exceeds previous recent outbreaks of hostilities in terms of its intensity and is spilling over into horrible inter-communal violence within the State of Israel, can only be permanently addressed by resolving the underlying Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a negotiated two-state solution agreed between the parties.

The events of recent days show all too starkly what happens when the conflict, deepening occupation and incitement go inadequately addressed by consistent and creative diplomatic engagement.