Donna Edwards flap fosters debate over one-state vs two-state

Israel/Palestine
on 10 Comments

Last week we picked up the news that Congresswoman Donna Edwards is holding a fundraiser with a non-Zionist organization, New Policy.org, this weekend, Saturday afternoon, at the Sheraton Washington North in Beltsville, MD.

Well, Washington Jewish Week is stirring the pot on the event, painting Edwards as “anti-Israel,” and quoting various Israel lobbyists who trash J Street for its vigorous support of Edwards. J Street is holding firm for Edwards but insisting that she is for two states.

Interestingly, the flap has gotten the one-state/two-state conversation into the mainstream (as it blipped into the mainstream during the Winograd/Harman race last summer in California).

J Street and NewPolicy.org have both issued statements of their views of one-state versus two state, which I publish below. Where do you stand?

J Street: 

“JStreetPAC supports only candidates that are 100 percent committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to the existence of Israel as a democracy and as the homeland of the Jewish people. Rep. Donna Edwards has repeatedly reaffirmed her commitment to both of these principles and her opposition to the concept of a “one-state solution” based on a single, secular state for Israelis and Palestinians.

JStreetPAC disagrees fundamentally on this issue with New Policy PAC, as does Donna Edwards. That is the basis of our organization’s pro-Israel identity and the basis of our support for candidates like Donna Edwards.
That said, we do not believe that the candidates we endorse need to agree with every view of every other individual or organization that endorses them. We expect Representative Edwards to make her views on these issues clear when she speaks at the upcoming New Policy PAC event as she has consistently throughout her career.
There should and must be room for debate and discussion on issues related to Israel and the Middle East, and we encourage broad and open debate in the political and communal arena. There can, however, be no debate – at least among those whom JStreetPAC supports – about the right of the Jewish people to a national home of their own in Israel, living side by side in peace and security with the national home of the Palestinian people.”

In turn, NewPolicy.org also elaborates on its position:

NewPolicy.org would not oppose a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if agreed to by both Palestinians and Israelis. The two-state solution has been endorsed by the Arab League through the Arab Peace Initiative and the Organization of Islamic Countries under the auspices of Saudi leadership. The two-state solution has also been the basis of negotiations under the mediation of the quartet, which includes the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia.
Unfortunately, the chances for a two-state solution have been strongly diminished by the continued building of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The presence of 550,000 Jewish settlers in heavily fortified settlements in the occupied territories, along with the unlikely scenario of their evacuation and their unwillingness to become Jewish citizens of a Palestinian state, has emboldened the advocates of a one-state solution.
NewPolicy.org does not oppose a one-state solution in principle: a democratic secular state with a population half Jewish, half Arab can prosper and become a model of coexistence, human rights, secularism and democracy for the Middle East and the entire world. However, either solution if implemented by the two parties toward a just end to the hostilities would pave the road to peace in the region and enhanced American security at home.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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10 Responses

  1. Dan Crowther
    October 11, 2010, 2:12 pm

    J street is nothing more than catharsis for “liberal zionists.” A front group. That they demand more or less the same fealty for the “Jewish Homeland” as their right wing brethren shows there is little to no daylight between zionists of any stripe. To me, J street represents the last gasp of zionists trying to keep favor among “serious” people, their liberal/intellectual friends/colleagues- so when full fledged apartheid and ethnic cleansing begins in earnest, they can say “we tried.”

    Futility by design.

    • Keith
      October 11, 2010, 3:04 pm

      In fairness, how many US liberals call for the dismantling of the US Empire?

    • Richard Witty
      October 11, 2010, 3:07 pm

      Actually, J Street is changing hearts and minds and likely votes.

      To the extent that US policy has changed, and it has, it is at least partially due to J Street, far far more than due to BDS.

      • Shmuel
        October 11, 2010, 4:20 pm

        To the extent that US policy has changed, and it has, it is at least partially due to J Street, far far more than due to BDS.

        You must have very sensitive instruments to measure the partial far far greater cause of barely perceptible (imperceptible?) policy change.

      • Saleema
        October 11, 2010, 4:23 pm

        Says, the resident expert.

      • Sumud
        October 11, 2010, 10:58 pm

        To the extent that US policy has changed, and it has, it is at least partially due to J Street, far far more than due to BDS.

        How has US policy changed? I see complete capitualtion on Obama’s behalf. I’d like to know how you measured what supposedly changed US policy.

        J Street was formed in April 2008. Perhaps without the BDS Movement – launched July 2005 – there would be no J Street.

      • Citizen
        October 12, 2010, 9:06 am

        Sumud, that’s just Witty doing what Witty does, that is, loftily pronounce what reality is without any support at all for what he pronounces. You are right, nothing has changed at all except Dennis Ross has floated a new package of additional very expensive US carrots to bribe Israel to play pretend peace is upon us. Not to worry, Obama’s key advisors remain Israel uber alles people: link to ajwnews.com

    • Oscar
      October 11, 2010, 4:33 pm

      Dan, it certain does seem to be that way now, with Ben-Ami taking positions that are perfectly aligned with AIPAC. Not sure George Soros gave the seed money to J Street to be a magnet for “liberal Zionists” who otherwise would join Jewish Voice for Peace or other truly liberal organizations seeking peace in the Middle East.

      I think J Street has more or less recently been co-opted by AIPAC (for example, it now fights BDS on campuses alongside AIPAC). link to bit.ly

      Even though in August, there was The Dersh famously going all old-man cranky on a J Streeter at an AIPAC function (“Join us, Luke, join the dark side” — link to bit.ly), we recently saw Michael Oren crowing that J Street had been spayed and there wasn’t a single concession that needed to be made by the Israeli side. link to bit.ly

      It got to the point where the conscientious Jews for M/E peace told J Street to stop being a poseur and just allow itself to be absorbed by AIPAC already.

  2. Jim Haygood
    October 11, 2010, 3:58 pm

    ‘JStreetPAC supports only candidates that are 100 percent committed … to the existence of Israel as … the homeland of the Jewish people.’

    So presumably JStreet supports Netanyahu’s demand that Abbas recognize Israel as a ‘Jewish state.’ Nice.

    JStreet is about as liberal as Abraham Lincoln, who thought Negroes should be expelled to a free state of their own (e.g., Liberia), so that European-Americans could enjoy ‘the right of the caucasian people to a national home of their own in the United States, living side by side in peace and security with the national home of the Negro people.’

    In other words: We love you nice folks. We just don’t want you in our face! ;-)

    Liberal, my ass! These shuck-‘n-jivin’ crpyto-racist JStreeters have about 150 years of catching up to do, to resemble any recognized strain of contemporary multiethnic liberal tolerance. But it seems a few candidates are still willing to accept their dirty money.

  3. RoHa
    October 12, 2010, 5:24 am

    “the right of the Jewish people to a national home of their own in Israel,”

    And the moral basis for this right is ….?

    “… the national home of the Palestinian people.”

    And there they go imposing Zionisst concepts onto the Palestinians. As far as I can tell, the Palestinians want their homes, not a “national home”.

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