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House Democrats urge European heads of state to oppose Palestinian U.N. bid

by Jonah Lowenfeld

September 15, 2011 | 7:34 pm

In a letter sent on Sept. 15, a group of House Democrats urged the heads of 40 “key European countries” to join the United States in opposing the Palestinian effort to unilaterally declare statehood at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly meeting.

The letter was signed by 58 House Democrats, including California Reps. Howard Berman, Janice Hahn, Adam Schiff, and Brad Sherman. The effort was led by Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and supported by Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader.

“We believe that the only way to achieve a two-state solution is through direct negotiations leading to a peace treaty fully accepted by both governments and by both peoples,” the letter said.

“An inflammatory UN resolution, particularly one that unleashes international legal action against Israel, will put Middle East peace prospects on hold for years, if not decades,” Berman said in an emailed statement.

Meanwhile, in the flurry of activity aimed at demonstrating American opposition to the Palestinian effort, individual congressmen from both parties sent their own letters to diplomats from other countries.

On Sept. 13, Sherman sent a similarly themed letter to the ambassadors from 81 countries to the United Nations.

“I am appealing to you not to support this pending resolution,” Sherman wrote, “but to cast a vote instead for the principle of peace through negotiations.”

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