Reps. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Bill Johnson (R-OH)
PHILADELPHIA – April 24, 2017 – Reps. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Bill Johnson (R-OH) will launch the Congressional Israel Victory Caucus (CIVC) on April 27 at 9 a.m. The caucus' goal: to introduce a new U.S. approach to Israel-Palestinian relations.
Cong. Johnson notes that "Israel is America's closest ally in the Middle East, and the community of nations must accept that Israel has a right to exist – period. This is not negotiable now, nor ever. The Congressional Israel Victory Caucus aims to focus on this precept, and to better inform our colleagues in Congress about daily life in Israel and the present-day conflict. I look forward to co-chairing this very important caucus with Cong. DeSantis."
Cong. DeSantis adds: "Israel is our strongest ally in the Middle East, as we share common national interests and possess similar national values. Israel is not the problem in the Middle East; it is the solution to many of the problems that bedevil the region. American policy must ensure that Israel emerges victorious against those who deny or threaten her existence."
Since 1988, every U.S. administration has invested in Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy, but nearly three decades of failure strongly suggest that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations need rethinking. The caucus calls for a new U.S. approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ending the emphasis on Israel making "painful concessions" and instead putting the onus on Palestinians – they must give up the goal of destroying Israel and recognize Israel as the Jewish state.
The result will be beneficial for both Israel (which will no longer face a rejectionist enemy) and the Palestinians (who can start to build their own polity, economy, society, and culture).
CIVC builds on ideas promoted by the Middle East Forum that are now gaining support among analysts, in the U.S. Congress, in the executive branch, and in Israel.
"All sides agree that a quarter-century of 'peace process' has failed spectacularly," says Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum. "Perhaps it's time to try something new, namely focusing on the essence of the problem, which is Palestinian rejectionism. Perhaps it's time to give up on post-modern notions of enrichment and return to the proven concept of victory. Perhaps it's time for our ally Israel to win, and time for the Palestinians to have a chance to improve their lives."
Following the launch on Apr. 27, the caucus will begin a campaign to educate members of Congress and staff by hosting briefings and hearings. It will also help launch a parallel caucus in Israel's Knesset at a two-day conference in Jerusalem in July 2017.
The Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based think tank, is dedicated to defining American interests in the Middle East and protecting America from Islamist threats. It achieves its goals through intellectual, activist, and philanthropic efforts.
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