Manchin: Israel and Palastine Need to Find "Pathway to Peace"
Senator Joe Manchin is wrapping up a six day tour of Israel and the West Bank, meeting with political and spiritual leaders along the way.
On a conference call with reporters Friday, Manchin called his trip both spiritual and educational.
The Senator met with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah separately to talk about finding a “pathway to peace” for both countries.
“But I don’t see a pathway to negotiations that can lead to peace unless the Palestinians openly, to the free press and in their native language, are able to acknowledge that the Israelis, the native people of Israel, have a right to their own state,” he said.
Manchin said the U.S. has long served as a facilitator of conversations between the two nations and should continue to fill that role. He called the relationship between the two countries important because of Israel’s “strategic” location in the Middle East.
The trip was paid for by the American Israel Education Foundation, a Washington, D.C., based nonprofit that works to educate students and politicians about the relationship between the U.S. and Israel. The non-profit is affiliated with the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, a major pro-Israel lobbying group.