US Must Put Forward Public Parameters to Prevent Israel’s Isolation or Sanction

September 18, 2014

Following the April 2014 breakdown in negotiations and the Gaza war this summer, J Street is urging the United States not to abandon its effort to resolve the conflict but to step forward in bold and creative ways. In particular, J Street strongly believes the time has come for the United States to put forward its own plan – clear parameters for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

Significant new Israeli settlement activity and reports that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas may again approach the United Nations and eventually the International Criminal Court to press the claims of his people make it even more important for the United States to redouble its diplomatic efforts.

Rather than reacting, the United States should pre-empt such events. The US government and other friends of Israel should realize that providing the Palestinian people with a viable, direct path to fulfill their legitimate aspirations for a state is the best way to avert Israeli isolation or even sanction in international institutions like the UN and the ICC.

That will require the United States to work with the international community—perhaps through the UN Security Council—to put forward a public outline of the parameters on which a two-state solution would be achieved. This outline would specify the need to establish borders based on pre-1967 lines with swaps, a Palestinian capital in Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, mutual recognition and guarantees for the security of both states – and a diplomatic process to achieve it within a set period of time.

More than 70 percent of American Jews would support the United States government putting forward such parameters. With Israel’s Jewish and democratic character under long-term threat, and both peoples suffering an endless cycle of violence, there is no excuse, whether political, moral or practical, for further US timidity.