J Street Welcomes Introduction of the Two-State Solution Act

September 23, 2021

J Street, the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans, today welcomed the introduction of a vital new bill in the House of Representatives that embraces a number of actions the US government can and must take in order to truly support a peaceful two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and an end to the occupation of Palestinian Territory.

The Two-State Solution Act was introduced today on Capitol Hill by Congressman Andy Levin (MI-09) and is co-sponsored by Reps. Don Beyer (VA-08), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Dan Kildee (MI-5), Annie Kuster (NH-02), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Jim McGovern (MA-02), David Price (NC-04), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Peter Welch (VT-AL) and John Yarmuth (KY-3). The bill seeks to ensure US policies in the region are truly aligned with our ultimate goal of resolving the conflict and with our commitment to security, human rights and self-determination for both peoples. It makes clear that the United States should not in any way legitimize or empower the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements or the entrenchment of occupation.

“It has become far too easy for political leaders and policymakers to take comfort in stating rhetorical support for a two-state solution while calling on Israelis and Palestinians to act,” said J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami. “This bill outlines actions the United States can and should take. It is the most comprehensive and far-reaching bill ever introduced to make the United States an active partner in promoting a two-state solution in deed and not just word.”

“American policies and actions should promote and not inhibit the chances of resolving the conflict,” Ben-Ami added. “True support for a two-state solution must go beyond lip service and propose, as this legislation does, tangible actions that would bring real change. This is the kind of bold, balanced US leadership that’s needed if we ever hope to end the unjust and unsustainable status quo in this conflict, which regularly harms both Israelis and Palestinians.”

The bill empowers the US government to take responsible measures to push back against harmful actions that deepen the occupation and the conflict, undermining prospects for a two-state solution. These measures include:

  • Declaring settlements to be a violation of Palestinian human rights and international law.
  • Reversing a number of Trump administration policies — such as the customs rule change that required products made in Area C of the West Bank be labeled “Made In Israel” — that encouraged the settlement process and eliminated the distinction between Israel proper and its illegal settlements in the West Bank.
  • Reaffirming the existing Memorandum of Understanding that guarantees Israel will receive the full amount of US aid necessary to meet its very real security needs, while imposing clear end-use restrictions to ensure that US aid funding can’t be used for actions that promote occupation, settlement expansion or annexation.

The bill also includes key provisions to promote successful diplomacy and peacebuilding efforts to help lay the groundwork for a two-state solution, including:

  • Calling for reopening the US consulate in Jerusalem and the PLO General Delegation in Washington, DC.
  • Supporting critical people-to-people programs for Palestinians and Israelis.
  • Encouraging and incentivizing Palestinian leaders to fight incitement and reform their prisoner payments program.

Through all of these measures, the Two-State Solution Act can help revitalize and reset the US commitment to peacefully resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — ensuring that we are always part of the solution and never part of the problem. It can help enact policies designed to advance US interests, secure Israel’s future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people, and defend Palestinian rights.

J Street and the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement are eager to do all that we can in the days ahead to help build support for the legislation among a wide range of lawmakers.