J Street Responds to Israeli, Palestinian Meeting in Amman

January 3rd, 2012

WASHINGTON— J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami issued the following statement in response to the meetings between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held in Amman today.

“J Street welcomes the news that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held meetings today in Amman, hosted by the Jordanian government and joined by representatives of the Quartet.

We are gravely concerned over the complete stagnation of efforts to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and urge both the Israelis and Palestinians to comply with the request of the Quartet to submit proposals relating to borders and security by January 26.

The Quartet – and the United States, in particular – needs to make clear that it is not acceptable for either side to fail to meet that deadline.

J Street continues to urge friends of Israel in the Jewish community and beyond to speak out forcefully in urging Israel to take proactive steps toward achieving a two-state agreement now. They should heed the call of important Israeli thought leaders like A.B. Yehoshua who laid out Sunday in Ha'aretz, an Israeli daily newspaper, the dangers that Israel faces without a two-state solution – specifically the loss of its Jewish and democratic character as Israel drifts toward becoming a bi-national state.

Yehoshua called upon Israel's well-wishers in the United States to display ‘moral forcefulness, and keep Israel from the downward-spiral course it has set for itself.’

In recent weeks, American Jewish leaders have spoken out forcefully on the wrong-headed steps being proposed in Israel's Knesset that would undermine Israel's democratic character. They have objected to the treatment of women by some in Israel's ultra-Orthodox community. They have demonstrated significant moral outrage at the ‘price tag’ attacks by extremist settlers.

It is time for these same leaders to speak out equally clearly that the time is now for the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to act with seriousness of purpose to advance the prospects of achieving a two-state solution.”