Today, J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami released the following statement after Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s announcement regarding West Bank settlement construction:
J Street shares the Obama administration’s hope that today’s announcement by the Israeli government on settlement construction will allow a focus in the coming months on establishing a two-state solution and advancing toward comprehensive Israeli-Arab peace. Senator Mitchell is correct to note that in halting some settlement construction for a limited time, this Israeli government has taken a step forward. However, this is not the full settlement freeze called for by the United States and does not address the deteriorating situation in East Jerusalem. Israel, the Palestinians and the broader Arab world will all need to do far more if we are to see real progress toward resolution of the conflict. We urge the United States to exert strong leadership in the coming months to help the parties to set a permanent border “based on 1967 lines, with agreed swaps,” as Secretary Clinton said today. J Street strongly believes that the future and security of Israel as a democratic and Jewish homeland depend on establishing internationally-recognized borders and ending the conflict through a two-state solution. We appreciate actions by all parties that move us forward toward that goal and, in particular, the determination of Senator Mitchell, Secretary Clinton and the Obama administration to achieve a solution based on two states living side by side in peace and security.