J Street Urges Clinton to Reverse Diplomatic Disengagement, Make Resolution of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Immediate Priority

January 13, 2009

As the United States Senate Foreign Affairs Committee holds confirmation hearings today to consider the nomination of Senator Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State, J Street is urging Senators to press Senator Clinton to make resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict an urgent priority of the new Administration starting on day one.
J Street, with 100,000 online supporters, is the political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy movement in the United States.

In today’s hearing, J Street hopes that Senators will explore with Secretary of State-nominee Clinton whether the new administration intends to move the United States beyond simply facilitating discussions to playing a more active leadership role in resolving the conflict. “We are asking the new Administration to assume active leadership in Middle East diplomacy again,” says Jeremy Ben-Ami, Executive Director of J Street.  “Diplomatic disengagement for seven years followed by a flawed Annapolis process has taken us ever further away from achieving peace
 between Israel and her neighbors.

“The crisis in Gaza is further evidence that time is running out for a two-state solution to the conflict.  American leadership to end the underlying Israeli-Palestinian conflict is urgently needed and has been sadly lacking for the last eight years.  J Street believes President Barack Obama may be the last American President who will have the opportunity to bring about a two-state solution.

“The United States needs to put solutions on the table and take the lead with its international partners in forging the agreements and ways of implementing them that the parties have proven incapable of reaching themselves.  Ending this conflict is an essential American interest.  It is vital to addressing other threats to American interests in the region and to restoring our reputation around the world.

“As the Foreign Affairs Committee convenes Tuesday to consider Senator Clinton’s confirmation, the crisis in Gaza moves into its 18th day with a deepening humanitarian crisis and no sign of abating, underscoring J Street’s firm belief that ultimately there must be a political not a military solution to the conflict.”