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An American Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace Voice for the Middle East by J Street

An American Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace Voice for the Middle East by J Street

An American Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace Voice for the Middle East

by J Street

High stakes theater in US-Israel relations dominated the news this past week with dueling speeches and appearances by the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Israel.

With the dust still settling and the instant analysis flowing, one thing is clear to us: the President of the United States laid out in succinct and compelling terms some fundamental truths to which we subscribe:

One, the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable and the US commitment to Israel’s security iron-clad. The relationship between our countries is so strong because it is rooted in both common values and common interests.
Two, achieving peace is "more urgent than ever" and the dream that we as Israel's supporters hold so dear of a secure Israel that is both Jewish and democratic cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation.
Three, a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples – each enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition and peace and that "the basis for negotiations has to hold out the prospect of success."
Four, the best place to start toward an agreement that ends the conflict and all claims is by agreeing to certain principles. These are: that the borders between the states will be “based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps,” security provisions must “be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism, to stop the infiltration of weapons, and to provide effective border security," and a “full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces, a sovereign non-militarized Palestinian state, with a transition period to be agreed.”
In his twin speeches, we believe the President laid out a compelling case for action now and a principled basis on which both sides should be asked publicly to come back to the table for a final effort at diplomatically resolving the conflict before the United Nations meets in September and considers recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Over the coming months, J Street will work hard to demonstrate to Washington policy makers and politicians, to skeptical media pundits and to American Jews the depth and breadth of support for the President’s approach – both here in the United States and in Israel.

To oppose the President without laying out a credible alternative basis for a two-state solution is to embrace a status quo leading to the eventual loss of Israel as we know and love it. A state of Israel without a state for the Palestinian people next to it means an Israel that must choose between being democratic and being the national home of the Jewish people.

This is a choice we must help Israel avoid having to make.

Israel can only do that on the path the President has articulated.

It’s the path that most of Israel’s recent Prime Ministers have attempted to blaze from Rabin to Barak to Olmert. It’s the path articulated so well at AIPAC by Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni. [1]

It’s the path supported by many of Israel’s most illustrious heroes – its most decorated generals, scholars and diplomats – many of whom signed the Israeli ad we reprinted in The New York Times last week. [2]

It’s the path articulated by such noted American supporters of Israel as Tom Friedman, David Remnick, Robert Wexler and Jeffrey Goldberg. [3, 4, 5, 6]

Mr. President – we are ready to follow you on this path. We stand ready to work hard this summer to make clear just how deep support really runs for your efforts on this issue both here and in Israel.

The battle won’t be easy. Our opponents will fight fiercely.

But we know that a long hard fight can lead to a brighter and better future. So count us in for the struggle as we kick off our own “Two State Summer” campaign in the coming weeks.

We are ready to fight with you, Mr. President, for the freedom and independence that the two state solution will bring to the Jewish people as well as to the Palestinian people – both living in democratic states of their own, in security, with full equality, and within boundaries accepted by the international community.

Best,

- Jeremy

Jeremy Ben-Ami
President, J Street
May 25, 2011

[1] "Livni: Palestinian statehood isn't a favor to Obama, it's vital for Israel," by Natasha Mozgovaya. Haaretz, May 23, 2011.
[2] "Israel Ad for Peace." www.jstreet.org.  Accessed: May 25, 2011.
[3] “B.E., Before Egypt. A.E., After Egypt,” by Thomas Friedman. The New York Times, February 1, 2011.
[4] "A Man, a Plan," by David Remnick. The New Yorker, March 21, 2011.
[5] "Obama's Speech was Misunderstood," by Robert Wexler and Zvika Krieger. The Wall Street Journal, May 21, 2011.
[6] "Netanyahu Continues to Needlessly Alienate," by Jeffrey Goldberg. The Atlantic, May 22, 2011.

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J Street is the political home of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement.

J Street is the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans.

The organization gives political voice to mainstream American Jews and other supporters of Israel who, informed by their Jewish values, believe that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is essential to Israel’s survival as the national home of the Jewish people and as a vibrant democracy. J Street’s mission is two-fold: first, to advocate for urgent American diplomatic leadership to achieve a two-state solution and a broader regional, comprehensive peace and, second, to ensure a broad debate on Israel and the Middle East in national politics and the American Jewish community.

J Street represents Americans, primarily but not exclusively Jewish, who support Israel and its desire for security as the Jewish homeland, as well as the right of the Palestinians to a sovereign state of their own – two states living side-by-side in peace and security. We believe ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in the best interests of Israel, the United States, the Palestinians, and the region as a whole.

J Street supports diplomatic solutions over military ones, including in Iran; multilateral over unilateral approaches to conflict resolution; and dialogue over confrontation with a wide range of countries and actors when conflicts do arise. For more on our policy positions, click here.

J Street advocates forcefully in the policy process, in Congress, in the media, and in the Jewish community to make sure public officials and community leaders clearly see the depth and breadth of support for our views on Middle East policy among voters and supporters in their states and districts. We seek to complement the work of existing organizations and individuals that share our agenda. In our lobbying and advocacy efforts, we enlist individual supporters of other efforts as partners.

J Street is the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans.

The organization gives political voice to mainstream American Jews and other supporters of Israel who, informed by their Jewish values, believe that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is essential to Israel’s survival as the national home of the Jewish people and as a vibrant democracy. J Street’s mission is two-fold: first, to advocate for urgent American diplomatic leadership to achieve a two-state solution and a broader regional, comprehensive peace and, second, to ensure a broad debate on Israel and the Middle East in national politics and the American Jewish community.

J Street represents Americans, primarily but not exclusively Jewish, who support Israel and its desire for security as the Jewish homeland, as well as the right of the Palestinians to a sovereign state of their own – two states living side-by-side in peace and security. We believe ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in the best interests of Israel, the United States, the Palestinians, and the region as a whole.

J Street supports diplomatic solutions over military ones, including in Iran; multilateral over unilateral approaches to conflict resolution; and dialogue over confrontation with a wide range of countries and actors when conflicts do arise. For more on our policy positions, click here.

J Street advocates forcefully in the policy process, in Congress, in the media, and in the Jewish community to make sure public officials and community leaders clearly see the depth and breadth of support for our views on Middle East policy among voters and supporters in their states and districts. We seek to complement the work of existing organizations and individuals that share our agenda. In our lobbying and advocacy efforts, we enlist individual supporters of other efforts as partners.


1 comment (Add your own)

1. Vales wrote:
RalphThat is precisely what I am sinyag, no states where religion is established. not one. Most of the Negev was gained in the Six days war. Yes, the northern part of Israel, but what was ceded back to Egypt was not. Despite the fact that there is nearly as many arabs as Jews in Israel, if you look at the Israeli Parliament you will no doubt notice there is not a parity in representatives. No member of the Israeli Cabinet has been Arab. That is Apartheid.All of the Apartheid moves in the West Bank were legally voted by the Israeli Parliament. The Arabs in Israel do not see a big difference between living in Israel, in the Gaza, or in the West Bank. Yes the legal rights of those is Israel are more nuanced. The legal rights of Arabs in the West Bank are almost non existent. Their homes can be expropriated at any time, their movement is heavily restricted, and they can be help indefinitely without a formal charge. That's Apartheid. The struggle here is between a population that mostly emigrated from Europe and Russia and Arabs who have lived continuously in the region for two thousand years. The locals did not decide to create the Israel State (or for that matter most of the Arab countries), Europe did. Therein lies the problem for both Arabs and Jews. Trying to live in a coloring book whose lines were drawn by Europe.

Sun, January 13, 2013 @ 2:13 AM

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