Jeremy Ben-Ami, president and founder of J Street, released the following statement today in response to President Trump’s speech in Jerusalem.
J Street was encouraged that in his speech in Jerusalem today and throughout his trip to the Middle East, President Trump put resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab conflicts back at the top of the regional agenda.
The president rightly emphasized to Israelis the long-term benefits of regional cooperation and peace and to the Palestinians the need to confront violence and incitement.
What was missing throughout the trip and in the speech, however, was a clear re-affirmation of longstanding bipartisan US policy that the two-state solution is the only viable way to resolve this conflict, that both sides need to make tough choices and that they must stop taking steps that move the conflict further from resolution.
Broad normalization with Arab states will not take place before or in the absence of the emergence of a Palestinian state. Confusion as to whether the United States still seeks two states for two peoples only feeds the far right’s dream that lasting security and economic partnership with Israel’s Arab neighbors can be accomplished while permanently continuing the occupation.
Now that the trip is over, we will be looking for substantive actions to back up the president’s stated commitment to “achieving the ultimate deal.”