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?
“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.