J Street is calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to show political courage and true leadership by recommitting themselves to the peace negotiations being brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
At a time when the talks seem in danger of coming apart and when both leaders are being urged by extremist elements within their own political coalitions to walk away, responsible leadership is more important than ever. Both leaders should think and act constructively and with goodwill and flexibility to get past the current crisis. They should keep their eye on the great prize–namely a permanent end to the century-old conflict between the two peoples based on the establishment of a Palestinian state in the occupied territory and secure and internationally recognized borders for Israel.
A two-state solution is an imperative for both parties. For Israel, it presents the only way to secure its future as a democratic, Jewish homeland. For the Palestinians, it offers the only way to achieve self-determination and dignity in a homeland of their own.
Conversely, the negative consequences of a collapse of the negotiations would be catastrophic for both peoples, as Secretary Kerry has eloquently laid out on more than one occasion.
We’ve always known that these talks would be tough and would face obstacles and crises along the way. The test of true leadership is to use such moments creatively to forge understandings and make progress.
As President Obama declared last year in Jerusalem, peace is necessary, just and possible. With determination and political will, it can be achieved–and no other outcome should be acceptable to either side.