The two-state solution is essential to Israel’s security and recognition as the national homeland of the Jewish people and their right to a normal life free from terror and incitement, and to ensuring that Palestinians can govern themselves in their own state in peace and dignity. Only a two-state solution can provide Palestinians independence, sovereignty and dignity while providing Israelis the secure and recognized borders of a democratic Jewish state.
As part and parcel of our commitment to Israel’s security, J Street supports a two-state solution, which we believe is a fundamental American security interest and essential to the survival and security of Israel as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people. A cornerstone of any peaceful resolution of the conflict and the two-state solution has to be the inclusion of robust security guarantees, the fulfillment of Palestinian security obligations and the cessation of terror. J Street unequivocally condemns all acts of terror and violence perpetrated by any state or any non-state actor against the State of Israel or its people.
Borders & Preserving the Green Line
J Street believes the borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state will be based on the pre-1967 lines with limited, agreed-upon land swaps of equivalent size and quality, and therefore works in the meantime to protect the distinction in US law and policy between internationally-recognized Israel and the territory over the Green Line that it occupies.
J Street supports stronger US action against the relentless Israeli settlement expansion that is undermining the two-state solution – and therefore to Israel’s Jewish and democratic nature.
J Street believes that Israel’s capital is in Jerusalem and will be internationally recognized as such – including by the United States Government – in the context of an agreed two-state solution in which Palestinian areas of East Jerusalem become the capital of a Palestinian state.
J Street believes that resolution of the refugee issue under a comprehensive two-state agreement would likely grant all Palestinians the right to live in the State of Palestine, providing monetary compensation for those who choose not to do so, launching an international effort to resettle all Palestinians still living in camps into permanent homes, allowing those in other countries to resettle permanently in the countries in which they reside and allowing a symbolic number to return to Israel for the purpose of family reunification.
US-Israel Special Relationship & Security Aid
J Street supports a strong, vibrant US-Israel relationship, including American assistance to our ally to ensure its security and maintain its qualitative military edge.
Boycotts, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS):
J Street opposes the Global BDS Movement, which does not support the two-state solution, recognize the right of the Jewish people to a state, or distinguish between opposition to the existence of Israel itself and opposition to the occupation of the territory beyond the Green Line.
J Street strongly supports the Iran nuclear agreement which has verifiably blocked each of that country’s pathways to a nuclear weapon, while supporting efforts to counteract the Iranian regime’s vile anti-American, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric, its outrageous support for acts of international terrorism, its destabilizing and bloody meddling in the affairs of its neighbors, and its deplorable domestic human rights record.
Palestinian Reconciliation and Hamas
J Street has consistently condemned Hamas for calling for Israel’s destruction, using terror and violence against Israeli civilians and denying the Holocaust. Any Palestinian government must abide by its international commitments, including recognition of Israel and renunciation of violence as a means of achieving its goals in order to play a constructive role in working toward peace through a two-state solution.
Regional Approach and the Arab Peace Initiative
While only the parties themselves can ultimately agree to an end to the conflict, the US and its close allies in the international community have a vital role to play in reaching a solution. Ideas and initiatives such as the Arab Peace Initiative should be encouraged as enhancing the prospects for negotiations between the parties.
J Street has always and will always support Israel’s right to defend itself. At the same time, the untenable lack of a two-state solution and cyclical nature of violent engagements with Hamas in Gaza continue to lead to a tragic loss of life of Israelis citizens and Palestinian civilians. Furthermore, the current isolation and dire humanitarian situation in Gaza must be addressed, and will only continue to deteriorate without a negotiated two-state solution.
Humanitarian and Civil Society
The interests at stake in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are broader than just physical security and borders. The ability and right of people on both sides of the conflict to live their lives to their fullest potential and to have their basic needs met are seriously impacted by the ongoing conflict. J Street supports efforts that aim to give the people caught up in this conflict a stake in the future, to ensure that their basic needs are met and that the economic and other benefits of conflict resolution are understood.
J Street is deeply concerned by the rising tide of violence, incitement and racism in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is repulsed by incidents of Palestinian terror and incitement, which must be addressed without hesitation by the Palestinian Authority in areas under its control and in Palestinian society at large. In Israeli society, similar tendencies have manifested themselves in “price tag” attacks and occasionally deadly violence by Israeli civilians against Palestinians or people assumed to be Palestinian. Accordingly, J Street strongly encourages the parties to revisit and implement a long-standing proposal to reconvene the trilateral commission on incitement, including the US, Israel and the Palestinians, to address and propose corrective action to charges of incitement.
Palestinian Approaches to International Organizations
Palestinians have the right to join international organizations and institutions. With regard to the International Criminal Court (ICC), while we understand Palestinians’ frustration at the ongoing occupation and the lack of a path to ending it, we regard attempts to bring cases before the ICC to be unhelpful. Such action stands to set off a spiral of counterproductive actions and leave the Palestinian people no closer to freedom and self-determination.
Maintaining a strong, functioning Palestinian Authority is vital both to American and Israeli interests. Efforts to end US assistance benefitting Palestinians undermine the very moderates with whom we need to work and empower the very extremists we hope to marginalize and defeat.