APN today called on the Obama Administration to support action in the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel-Palestine that supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. APN president and CEO Debra DeLee commented:
“APN supports the current effort, led by France, to build consensus around and achieve eventual passage of a United Nations Security Council resolution laying out internationally-accepted parameters for a negotiated, two-state Israeli-Palestinian agreement, and imposing some sort of timeline for such negotiations. Coming in the wake of yet another Gaza War, on the heels of repeated failures of peace negotiations, and in the context of ever-expanding settlements, growing instability and insecurity in Jerusalem, and escalating international frustration, this effort is indeed timely. It is also consistent with the genuine national interests of Israel and its citizens, as well as those of the United States and its international allies.
“Make no mistake: current and imminent developments on the ground today immediately jeopardize the viability of the two-state solution. Simultaneously, belief in the possibility of a two-state outcome to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to erode, translating into increased dangers for all sides, as evidenced by the violence of recent months and by the growing appetite in the international community for concrete actions to pressure and punish Israel.
“With this in mind, we call on the Obama Administration to support constructive action in the UN Security Council that seeks to prevent the loss of the two-state solution on the ground and to restore confidence in a negotiated two-state solution. To be considered constructive, such UN action must be explicitly predicated on support for Israeli-Palestinian peace based on parameters long-endorsed by the U.S. and governments around the world, including: two states with borders based on the 1967 lines, including in Jerusalem, with agreed-on, equivalent land swaps; two capitals in Jerusalem; a mutually acceptable formula to address the Palestinian refugee question; agreed-on security arrangements; and some formula to reconcile Israeli and Palestinian recognition narratives.
“As we have emphasized repeatedly in the past, actions by the UN – either in the General Assembly or the Security Council – won’t end the occupation or resolve permanent status issues at the heart of the conflict. Only negotiations can achieve those goals. However, developments on the ground are every day eroding the very possibility of achieving the two-state solution and emboldening extremists on both sides. Until now, the relative passivity of the world in the face of these developments, and its tacit acquiescence to continued hostilities between and among the parties, has only bolstered those who are eager to close the door, once-and-for-all, on any possibility of coexistence in the region with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and with security.
“The pending initiative offers an historic opportunity for key friends of Israel in the international community, including the Obama Administration, to breathe new life into the two-state solution. This initiative, if properly crafted, can play a critical role in strengthening those Israelis and Palestinians – among both the general population and among the current and potential leaders – who stand firmly with such a solution. It can also send a much-needed message to rejectionists on both sides, making clear that the world is out of patience with ideologies and actions that prioritize land over peace, and prefer perpetual war in pursuit of zero-sum outcomes to a negotiated compromise.”
APN's principles on the issue of the Palestinians' UN efforts, adopted in July 2011, can be read here. Further background on APN's positions regarding the UN as a venue for action on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is available here.