American Jews, it's Time to Make a Difference

American Jews, it's Time to Make a Difference

 By Michael Felsen, Common Ground News Service
23.8.2011
via Common Ground News Service (click here for original)
 
EXCERPT
 
While with each passing day the window for a two-state solution – a safe, secure and democratic Israel living in peace with a viable Palestinian state – grows smaller, most American Jews would agree that’s the goal. If it is, then it’s fair to ask what actions the leading organisations of the American Jewish community should undertake to most effectively help the parties reach that goal.
 
In what is presumably its answer to that question, the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the largest Jewish advocacy group in the United States, has decided to mount a major campaign to oppose the expected UN vote on Palestinian statehood. There are, indeed, good and sufficient reasons why that vote is problematic: for Israel, for the United States – which has vowed to use its veto in the Security Council – and for the Palestinians. But is pulling out all stops to stifle the Palestinian move the most effective means to help the parties reach that ever-elusive two-state goal? We can’t afford to spend time and resources on any campaign that serves anything other than our sole objective: how best to help the parties reach a negotiated resolution.
 
What about pressing our government to join with the other Quartet players in laying out the terms of a comprehensive resolution, along the well-known lines of the Clinton parameters and the Geneva Accord? Rather than treating the Palestinian Authority as an adversary that bears the blame for the ongoing impasse, shouldn't our Jewish communal organisations be spearheading a campaign for the kinds of difficult mutual compromises that are most likely to lead to a sustainable end to the conflict?