J Street Statement on reports of negotiations resuming

August 2, 2011

J Street statement on Israeli and American media reports that Prime Minister Netanyahu is quietly working with American officials on a proposal to resume negotiations with the Palestinians based on, among other parameters, the pre-1967 lines with swaps:

Three months ago, when President Barack Obama said that the future borders of Israel and the Palestinian state would be based on “the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps,” the Prime Minister publicly castigated him. He implied that the President was trying to force Israel back to borders that were somehow “indefensible.”

In the process, the Prime Minister’s statements created fear in the American Jewish community and led to confusion on Capitol Hill – in part by failing to acknowledge that this had been the formula on which basis prior Israeli governments had in fact been negotiating to achieve a two-state solution and that this is the only basis for achieving it.

Today, the Prime Minister is reported to be working on a plan for restarting negotiations that adopts that formulation.

J Street calls on the Prime Minister to erase the conflicting signals – and the fear and confusion engendered – by forthrightly declaring that the only way to achieve lasting security for Israel and to reach a two-state solution is, in fact, on the basis of the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.

We reiterate our hope that the President will succeed in getting both parties to restart a meaningful diplomatic initiative through substantive talks based on clear terms of reference before September’s anticipated UN vote. We continue to believe that the only way to resolve this conflict, end all claims, and ensure Israel’s long-term security is through a two-state solution agreed to by the parties encouraged by decisive American leadership.