J Street Responds to President’s UN Address, Urges US Diplomatic Leadership

September 21, 2011

WASHINGTON—J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami issued the following response to President Obama’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly this morning:

President Obama was correct to tell the United Nations this morning that there is ‘no short cut’ to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Indeed, were peace only a matter of an impassioned speech, a Congressional resolution or a vote at the UN, the conflict would be history by now. The path to a two-state solution continues to be through diplomacy and ultimately the agreement of the parties.

The real test, therefore, for the President and his administration this week is not whether it can wrangle the votes to avoid casting a veto at the Security Council of the Palestinian application for UN membership, but whether this crisis can be turned into an opportunity to jumpstart meaningful diplomacy that yields results. There is still time in the hours and days ahead for such a breakthrough.

We call on the Israelis and Palestinians as well as the Americans and Europeans to reach agreement on re-starting meaningful, substantive talks with clear parameters and timelines for achieving a two-state agreement. Active American engagement is still an essential ingredient to meaningful diplomacy that yields results, and the President must push forward no matter the obstacles because a two-state solution is so deeply in the interest of the United States, the State of Israel and the Palestinian people.