Statement of Principles


As staunch supporters of the security and well-being of the State of Israel, the democratic nation-state of the Jewish people, committed to providing equal rights for all its citizens, we believe:

Two-State Solution

The goal of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, consistent with Israel’s security needs, is essential to ensure Israel’s long-term future as a Jewish and democratic state.

This goal can best be preserved and advanced by generating conditions 1) on the ground, 2) in the regional environment, and 3) at the political level that are conducive to a lasting Israeli-Palestinian accord and normalized relations with the Arab world.

Cooperation

Both Israelis and Palestinians have a responsibility to prepare their peoples for compromises that will be essential for a future negotiated peace, and to oppose incitement, extremism and violence.  Both parties also have a responsibility to participate in and promote security and economic cooperation for the benefit of their peoples, and to cooperate in creating joint policies and initiatives that will enhance a shared stewardship of the land, water, air and ecosystem between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

Palestinian Leadership

The Palestinians must work to advance a realistic path toward the unification of the West Bank and Gaza Strip under one empowered and legitimate government that unequivocally rejects violence, accepts prior agreements and is prepared to establish a viable, demilitarized state living in peace and security alongside the State of Israel.  

Settlements

Israeli settlement policy should reflect a commitment to the goal of a two-state solution.  Activity beyond the major settlement blocs and provocative construction in predominantly Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem are counterproductive to the cause of peace.

Arab Peace Initiative

The Arab Peace Initiative represents a unique opportunity that can serve a critical role for any Mideast peacemaking effort.   The API is an imperfect and incomplete proposal, yet should be utilized as a vehicle for regional dialogue to advance Israel-Arab relations and shared strategic interests alongside progress in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. Achieving a future two-state solution will require the active engagement and support of Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.

Negotiated Agreement

A durable resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be achieved through direct negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, with the active support of the United States, and constructive contributions from the Arab states and the international community. A future agreement must reflect negotiated adjustments to the 1967 lines that take into account demographic realities and Israel’s security needs.  A comprehensive negotiated agreement that addresses all of the core final-status issues: borders, security, refugees, Jerusalem and mutual recognition must represent an end of the conflict and finality of all claims by both sides.  Any consideration by the United States to articulate proposed terms of reference for future bilateral negotiations must take into account Israel’s security needs within a regional context, serve to set the stage for future negotiations, and not impose permanent arrangements or unrealistic timelines.

Internationalization/BDS

One-sided UN resolutions and European sanctions that single out Israel for censure, fail to acknowledge Palestinian responsibilities and/or delay or preclude the resumption of negotiations between the parties – as well as efforts to advance charges at the International Criminal Court, or via other international mechanisms, including boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) – are counterproductive to creating an atmosphere conducive to forging a future peace through negotiations.

Jewish Community

Notwithstanding the deep and enduring connection between Israel and American Jewry, political, denominational and generational divides in the community can have a counterproductive impact on Israel engagement and advocacy. Robust debate in the community is natural and healthy and should be encouraged.  At the same time, it should be conducted in a respectful manner that is rooted in a shared commitment to Israel’s security and well-being.

American Jews, who care deeply about Israel’s future, have a right to express their views, including disagreements regarding specific government policies of the State of Israel.  Still, advocacy should always be undertaken with a deep respect for Israel’s democratic process and its legitimate security concerns, and should oppose all efforts to de-legitimize the State of Israel.

Bipartisanship

Strengthening US-Israel relations, working to advance the goal of two states for two peoples, and ensuring Israel’s long-term security are important national U.S. interests, which have been supported by Democrats and Republicans alike. While there are diverse opinions on many Israel-related matters, these goals are consensus positions for the great majority of American Jews, and maintaining bi-partisan support for them has been, and should remain, a top priority of the American Jewish community.

We pledge to educate, advocate, and mobilize in support of these aforementioned principles, in furtherance of our commitment to the vitality and strength of the State of Israel, the Jewish community and continued U.S.-Israel partnership.