J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami released the following statement as Special Envoy for Mideast Peace George Mitchell returns from the region:
As Mideast Envoy George Mitchell wraps up his third trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories since January, J Street continues to be encouraged by the direction of American diplomacy and leadership in the region.
By reiterating President Barack Obama’s firm personal commitment to the two-state solution, Mitchell sent a strong message that there can be no resolution to the conflict without two-states for two peoples – a viable, independent Palestinian state and a Jewish, democratic Israel – living side by side in real peace and security. This goal will only be achieved through sustained and comprehensive American leadership that helps reach the tough compromises necessary.
As Prime Minister Netanyahu prepares for his first trip to the United States since assuming the premiership last month, we urgently await a clear statement of his government’s position on the two-state solution. Beyond that, what is important now isn’t so much the words that the new Prime Minister uses, but rather the actions of both sides in achieving two states (after talking about it endlessly for so many years), and, above all, assertive American leadership. There is no time to lose, and any further efforts at delaying a move toward a two-state solution will damage both American interests in the region and Israel’s chances for survival in the long-run as a Jewish, democratic homeland.