Joint ATFP-JCPA Statement: Israelis and Palestinians Must
Show Courage, Flexibility, Persistence for Peace Talks to Succeed
NEW YORK – Following today’s announcement that Israeli and Palestinian officials will resume direct negotiations, two leading Jewish and Palestinian American organizations, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) and the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), are stressing that “both parties must now show courage, flexibility and persistence in order to move towards a negotiated end of conflict agreement.”
Speaking on behalf of JCPA and ATFP, Dr. Conrad Giles and Rabbi Steve Gutow, chair and president, respectively, of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and Dr. Ziad Asali, president of the American Task Force on Palestine, today issued a joint statement welcoming the resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians:
“The United States has a crucial role to play in facilitating negotiations that will result in a successful outcome. The achievement of a peace agreement allowing for a viable and independent Palestinian state to live side-by-side in peace with a secure Israel -- within internationally recognized borders and with normal relations across the Middle East -- is not only in the interest of Israelis and Palestinians. It is a vital American national interest as well.
We have no illusions about what will be an arduous and difficult process. The issues that must be resolved are profound, even existential.
Both sides must take concrete steps in the short term to instill greater mutual confidence in this process and to demonstrate resolve to stay at the negotiating table as long as it takes to achieve an agreement. Israelis and Palestinians have suffered for far too long. It is time to make peace.
As negotiations continue, American and international support for the Palestinian Authority's state and institution building program -- that is committed to fighting terrorism and incitement, and developing a sustainable economic infrastructure -- is an essential complement to diplomacy.
We congratulate the Obama administration on succeeding in getting direct negotiations back on track. Both parties must now show courage, flexibility and persistence in order to move towards a negotiated end of conflict agreement.”
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 14 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.
American Task Force on Palestine is a nonprofit, nonpartisan Palestinian-American organization whose mission is to advocate that a negotiated agreement allowing for two states, Israel and Palestine, to live side-by-side in peace and security is in the American national interest.