J Street Delivers Urgent Message to Congress

This is a guest post by Evan Stern, author, advocate and consultant with deep Twin Cities roots. Evan chairs communications for J Street Minnesota and serves on the University of Minnesota Hillel Foundation Board of Directors. He is a lifelong member of Temple Israel and is active in the Minneapolis Jewish Federation. Follow him on twitter: @Jewinspace.
With unilateral UN action by the Palestinians looming this fall, the need for a negotiated peace agreement is now more urgent than ever. Acknowledging this, in May President Obama renewed the United States’ commitment to negotiating a two state solution: “No matter how hard it may be to start meaningful negotiations under current circumstances, we must acknowledge that a failure to try is not an option. The status quo is unsustainable.”
J Street represents a large and quickly growing pro-Israel constituency that is standing up and speaking out for urgent US leadership in facilitating a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On August 23, J Street is culminating the Two State Summer campaign with a national day of action, with local activists demonstrating support for a two-state solution in more then 100 congressional districts. A large and diverse group of activists will represent J Street Minnesota, carrying with them signed postcards of support from many more local members of J Street.
The parameters of a two-state resolution are well and widely known—’67 lines with agreed upon land-swaps—and have been written and rewritten countless times. Every US administration since Bill Clinton’s has backed these parameters, as have former Israeli prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert. The majority of Israelis, Palestinians and American Jews support them too.
What is needed now is to build the political will to assure our leadership in Congress and the administration that they will have the strong backing of the pro-Israel community in acting boldly to turn these parameters into internationally recognized borders, thereby ensuring both Israel’s democratic and Jewish future.
J Street has spent the summer growing and showing our support for the President’s renewed push for peace. While fake friends of Israel have jumped at the opportunity to paint President Obama’s effort as contrary to Israel’s interests, J Street has been telling the truth: Most American Jews support a two-state solution, including the US playing a more proactive role in bringing the two sides together.
To learn more about J Street, or for more information about August Day of Action, please contact Evan Stern at [email protected].