Kerry Announces Resumption of Peace Talks

July 19, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry’s tireless efforts to resume Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have created a historic new opportunity which must not be missed.

J Street congratulates Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on their decision to resume talks and urges them to come to the negotiating table with a serious and solemn intent to make the compromises necessary to achieve peace based on a two-state solution.

We also call on Congress, American Jews and the international community to get fully and unreservedly behind this peace effort to give the parties the support they need to make the tough decisions necessary to resolve their conflict.

“Secretary Kerry deserves the thanks and congratulations of the entire world for his determination, persistence and creativity in achieving this breakthrough. We know he will remain fully engaged as the parties get down to negotiations and will not hesitate to put his ideas on the table if and when appropriate. We also thank President Obama for making this issue a top foreign policy priority of his second term,” said J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami.

We believe that peace should be based on the formula laid out by Obama in his 2011 Middle East speech, namely the creation of Palestinian state along the 1967 lines with some mutually-agreed land swaps. A final deal must also include security guarantees for both sides as well as a resolution of the Palestinian refugee and Jerusalem issues.

Ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of a two-state solution is a vital US national security interest and would inject much-needed stability into an increasingly unstable region. It would deal a setback to extremists and terrorists around the world who have exploited this conflict to mobilize support for their violent methods.

Such an agreement is also the only way to guarantee Israel’s future as both a democracy and a Jewish homeland and would provide Palestinians with a vehicle in which to fulfill their self-determination and national aspirations.

We know that difficult days lie ahead but we are convinced that with goodwill, patience and imagination as well as determined and creative mediation and strong international support, a deal is within reach.

Vocal minorities on both sides can be expected to oppose the negotiations going forward but must not be allowed to frustrate the yearning of clear majorities of Israelis and Palestinians who support ending this conflict and living together in peace as good neighbors, based on a two-state solution.