(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) issued the following statement after the Senate unanimously approved S. Res. 302, the bipartisan resolution they led that expresses solidarity with Israel and condemns Palestinian terrorist attacks.
“We are pleased that our bipartisan resolution passed the Senate today, sending a clear and unambiguous message that the American people and the United States Senate stand with Israel as it fights terrorism and seeks to protect its citizens against these horrific attacks. The United States and Israel, our closest and most reliable ally in the Middle East, stand together in condemning these terrorist attacks, calling on Palestinian leaders to end their incitement, and renouncing any suggestion of moral equivalence between those who protect innocent life and terrorists who deliberately seek to take it,” said Senators Blumenthal and Ayotte.
Since the beginning of October, Palestinians armed with knives, meat cleavers, guns, and cars have carried out approximately 77 attacks, leaving 159 Israelis wounded and 12 dead. Two Americans have been killed in these gruesome attacks, including Richard Lakin, who was a Glastonbury, Connecticut elementary school principal and civil rights activist before moving to Israel in 1984.
66 senators from both parties cosponsored the Blumenthal-Ayotte resolution. Specifically, the resolution:
(1) Condemns these brutal attacks in the harshest terms possible;
(2) Welcomes Israel’s commitment to the continued maintenance of the status quo on the Temple Mount;
(3) Urges the international community to join in forcefully condemning these Palestinian terror attacks;
(4) Clarifies that there is no justification for these types of attacks and that there is a direct correlation between the recent upsurge in violence and Arab incitement regarding the Temple Mount;
(5) Stands with the people of Israel during these difficult days;
(6) Supports Israel’s right to self-defense and rejects any suggestion of the moral equivalence of Israeli security personnel protecting its citizens from senseless violence and terrorists intent to deliberately take innocent lives;
(7) Supports the agreement reached to install surveillance cameras on the Temple Mount according to the arrangements to be determined between the parties;
(8) Calls upon President Abbas to stop all incitement by Palestinian officials and by Palestinian media, to strongly and unequivocally demand an end to the violence, and to take all steps necessary to halt these attacks;
(9) Expresses support and admiration for individuals and organizations working to encourage cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians;
(10) Encourages President Abbas to continue strengthening and maintaining security cooperation with Israel;
(11) Reiterates that Palestinian political goals will never be achieved through violence; and
(12) Calls on all parties to return to the negotiating table immediately and without preconditions, as direct discussions remain the best avenue to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.