They Say/We Say: "Maybe a Solution is Possible, But…"

They Say We Say We know that pro-Israel does not mean blindly supporting policies that are irrational, reckless, and counter-productive. Pro-Israel means supporting policies that are consistent with Israel's interests and promote its survival as a Jewish, democratic state.

You've heard the arguments of the religious and political right-wing, and so have we. They've had their say. Now, we'll have ours.

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Why the two-state solution?

They Say:

Maybe a solution is possible, but it is clearly not going to happen anytime soon, because the Palestinians and Arabs don't want it. It's time to stop pushing Israel to make concessions and to stop pressing Israel to engage in peace efforts that are clearly pointless.

We Say:

A two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not only possible, its pursuit and achievement are national security obligations and a moral imperatives for both U.S. and Israel.

This is an existential issue for Israel: continued Israeli control over the lives of millions of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza threatens Israel's identity as a Jewish state and a democracy. The occupation is eroding Israel's democracy and its values, transforming Israel into an increasingly violent and intolerant society. Israeli efforts to address the very real security challenges stemming from the absence of a peace agreement - challenges that have no ready answers - are resulting in Israel's increased isolation and growing pariah status in the international arena.

Moreover, the active pursuit of peace and the two-state solution is a vital national security interest for the United States. It significantly enhances U.S. leadership and credibility and strengthens U.S. regional security and stability efforts. It also provides a platform for more effectively addressing other threats.

Because things generally seem to get worse in the Middle East, we often forget that they can also change for the better. More than three decades after Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's 1978 visit to Jerusalem, which heralded the beginning of the land-for-peace era, and two decades after the Oslo Accords, which signaled the birth of the two-state paradigm, there are those who argue that the land-for-peace and two-state paradigms are as fantastical as the others. They are wrong.

The two-state solution is still possible, even if it becomes harder to imagine - and to implement - with each passing day. And it is the only option that holds the promise of anything other than a permanent state of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and between Israel and the Arab world. Israelis and Palestinians recognize this. Polls have found that majorities of both populations still support the two-state solution, even as each doubts the seriousness of the other side's commitment to achieving it. Polling has found similar views in the Arab world, alongside a recognition that if the two-state solution disappears, the likely result will be intense conflict.