J Street Statement on Mitt Romney’s Comments Regarding Middle East Peace

September 19, 2012

J Street is deeply dismayed by Governor Mitt Romney’s comments regarding Middle East peace on the recently-released videotape from a south Florida fundraiser.

It is disappointing to hear Romney, who has called for a new “American Century” of US leadership, dismiss the importance of achieving a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

We believe that reaching a two-state solution is vital to America’s national security interests and that, without it, Israel faces real risks to its long-term security as well as its democratic and Jewish character.

For two decades, administrations of both parties have worked tirelessly to achieve a peace agreement, and no American president or Israeli prime minister has given up on pursuing a two-state solution.

The next president can’t just give up because it’s hard. Mitt Romney should be listening to the secretary of state he consulted and to the vast majority of Israel’s military, diplomatic and intelligence leaders who recognize the importance of a two-state solution to the US and to Israel.

In addition, Romney’s comments seem to condemn the entire Palestinian people, irresponsibly disregarding the majority of Palestinians who desire peace with Israel. To solve this conflict, the conversation will have to move beyond discussions of blame toward concrete solutions.

For the sake of Israel’s security, what’s needed isn’t punting but active leadership toward a two-state solution.