On Sunday morning, J Street placed a full-page ad in The New York Times calling on President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu to end their equivocation and endorse a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Reaching a two-state solution is vital to securing Israel’s future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people and to advancing overall peace and stability in the region. That’s why it’s long been supported by the majority of Israelis and Palestinians, by the Israeli security establishment and by over 80 percent of Jewish Americans. Support for two states has long been bipartisan US foreign policy, backed by presidents and national security leaders of both parties.
But today, we are faced with a US president and an Israeli prime minister who refuse to commit to the principle of two states. In fact, President Trump’s unilateral reversal of US policy on Jerusalem and the blind-eye his administration has turned to settlement expansion under PM Netanyahu have made a two-state agreement more difficult to achieve. This failure of leadership is obstructing any hope of serious negotiations and progress.
Last month at the UN Security Council, Palestinian President Abbas laid out explicit support for the two-state solution and put forward a serious proposal for how to get there. Abbas is far from an ideal partner. But as former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin said, “You don’t make peace with friends. You make it with very unsavory enemies.”
If Trump and Netanyahu are serious about pursuing peace, they need to respond constructively by putting the Palestinian commitment to a two-state solution to the test. They need to stop making excuses, commit to the basic principle of two states for two peoples, and put forward serious proposals for how to achieve that goal.
It’s time for them to come to the two-state table.