J Street at the RNC in Tampa

August 30th, 2012

By Steve Krubiner, J Street Chief of Staff

Being in Tampa this week at the Republican National Convention and heading to Charlotte next week for the Democratic National Convention, one can feel that America is now fully in 2012 election mode.

This week, we attended various events on foreign policy, heard from numerous party officials, and met a number of GOP delegates from around the country. It has been an important opportunity for J Street to meet with Republicans who support the longstanding bipartisan consensus behind US leadership toward achieving a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Given the ways we've seen Israel turned into a political football this election cycle, with politicians rushing to hawkish extremes to burnish their pro-Israel credentials, it is heartening to see in the Republican platform that the party remains officially committed to a two-state resolution. Attempts by some candidates who have essentially formed a one-state caucus to break with this longstanding cornerstone of American foreign policy have only driven a wedge between themselves and the center of the party.

Many of the GOP's most eminent statespeople – Brent Scowcroft, Jim Baker, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice, among them – have recognized that resolving the conflict would require the United States to, at times, disagree with both the Israelis and Palestinians and put its own proposals on the table.

Irrespective of who wins the election, Israel's future depends far more on actions than on words alone. The next administration will need to demonstrate assertive leadership. J Street is working in Washington and around the United States to support elected officials who recognize that the path to real friendship with Israel is through bold US action to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Without the US playing a pivotal role in driving a two-state resolution, Israel’s security, democracy and Jewish character are at risk.