The report by the Middle East Quartet issued today is both an accurate assessment of the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories and a grave warning to the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority that the two-state solution is in deep peril, which will only deepen unless they both radically change course.
J Street urges both sides to take this document to heart and adopt its recommendations. We urge American political leaders, Members of Congress and American-Jewish organizations to study this important report carefully and to add their voices and influence to calls to rescue the two-state solution — which remains the only possible way of resolving and ending the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
This report should serve as a wake-up call to Israelis and Palestinians. Both sides need leaders capable of rising to the challenge instead of appeasing domestic audiences and striving to maintain their grip on power. The United States and the international community too should not be content with sounding the alarm and then standing by as the situation continues to drift in its current direction. Inaction could condemn millions of people to an intractable, permanent conflict and occupation that will only take more lives and generate more tragedy.
The Quartet, comprising the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia, puts forward 10 practical, realistic, balanced recommendations to address the situation. We urge the US administration to make these the basis for a sustained international effort to deescalate the situation and move the parties to meaningful negotiations.
The hard truths laid out in this report will doubtless make Israeli and Palestinian leaders — as well as advocates on both sides of the issue — unhappy. The easy path will be to denounce it as biased or to attack its authors.
We wish instead that the leaders of both sides would grapple with the substance of the report and recognize the gravity of the situation.
Finally, J Street reiterates its belief that there is much the international community and the United States in particular can do to help move the situation away from this ever-worsening one-state reality. As President Obama heads toward the end of his time in office, we urge him to use the opportunity to establish clearly and with strong international backing US ideas for the parameters of a resolution to this conflict and to point the way to an American policy that is far more actively working to that end.