Washington D.C., Feb 5, 2020 / 14:01 pm
After US president Donald Trump and Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu last month proposed a two-state peace plan for Israel and Palestine, the bishops of the United States are encouraging Israel and Palestine to “negotiate directly” with each other and agree on a common resolution for peace.
“Intrinsic to a fruitful discussion is the necessity that each state recognizes and supports the legitimacy of each other,” Bishop David Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, said in a Feb. 3 letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“The United States and all other interested parties who offer their counsel and aid must do so as contributors to strengthen bilateral agreement between the two principal entities.”
Trump and Netanyahu unveiled their plan Jan. 28, which includes an independent Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem.
Despite this, Trump insisted that Jerusalem would also remain “Israel’s undivided— very important— undivided capital.” The United States moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in 2017.
Despite optimism from the two leaders, the proposal was not welcomed by the Palestinian Authority. President Mahmoud Abbas said the proposal “will not pass.” Protests erupted in Gaza following the announcement of the plan, which would involve annexation of Palestinian territory.
Malloy said that “The two principals - the Israelis and the Palestinians - are the only ones who can resolve the differences and agree on a common resolution to the chronic impasse.”
“While acknowledging the significant role the United States plays, these principals must negotiate directly with each other with the support of the international community, that they may find a fair compromise, which takes into account the legitimate aspirations of the two peoples.”