May 12, 2021

Moulton Statement on the Situation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories

WASHINGTON — Representative Seth Moulton issued the following statement after nearly a month of violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories:  

I urge Israel and leaders in Ramallah to broker a ceasefire. 

I am clear-eyed and united with Israel in the belief that Hamas is a terrorist organization. Israel has the right to defend itself, and Hamas’s rocket attacks deserve a response. Israel must make every effort to avoid civilian deaths. That includes the continuation of the use of warning shots before airstrikes and the avoidance of targeting buildings occupied by civilians. 

I am a friend of Israel, and I believe you tell your friends hard truths. The hard truth is this: the decision to relocate Palestinian families for settlements is morally wrong. The policy of settlements is designed to take territory that the world—including Israel—has agreed belongs to Palestinians. It is a home-by-home invasion, spread over years. I deeply oppose it, and anyone who wants to see peace in the region should as well. Israel’s Supreme Court should rule against the recent decision to relocate Palestinian families from East Jerusalem.

I also question the decision to send Israeli police into Al-Aqsa and the organized marches of hardliners through East Jerusalem, especially during Ramadan. It is hard to discern any intention from these decisions other than a calculated attempt by Israelis to provoke violence. 

True, lasting peace will only come from a two-state plan, negotiated in good faith by Israel and the Palestinians that recognizes East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian nation, a goal Israel walked further from with former President Trump’s encouragement. The United States should help broker a two-state plan, but ultimately the deal will have to be created and agreed to by Israel and the Palestinians.