2campaign

The 2 Campaign.

For the first time in 5 years, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are sitting down together. They’re working behind closed doors to craft the agreement central to our shared vision: two states for two peoples.

While the details may be complex and the choices ahead difficult, the issues are clear, and it’s time for those who support a two-state resolution to this conflict to stand up and say so.

Learn about the key issues–Borders, Security, Refugees and Jerusalem–and join the Great Constituency for Peace. Join the 2 Campaign now.

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Borders

Why Is This An Issue?

During the Six Day War of 1967, Israel took control of the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan. A two-state solution depends on an Israeli withdrawal from almost all of the West Bank to allow for the establishment of a Palestinian state, which would also have a presence in East Jerusalem and be somehow linked to Gaza. However, the presence of hundreds of Israeli settlements in the West Bank complicates the issue. Where the border is drawn will determine which settlements will be part of Israel and which must be evacuated.

The Israeli Position

Israel has accepted the two-state solution but would like to adjust the 1967 border to include major settlement blocs within its territory. Israel also argues that the 1967 borders would leave its major cities vulnerable to attack. It claims all of Jerusalem as its undivided, eternal capital though Prime Minister Netanyahu has recognized that the Palestinians have a different position and that a creative solution can be found through negotiations.

The Palestinian Position

The Palestinians have accepted a two-state solution and insist on the establishment of a viable and contiguous Palestinian state comprised of the equivalent of 100% the territory Israel occupied in 1967. Land swaps must be close to the Green Line and annex the least amount of land possible.

The Outcome

In past negotiations, the two sides were close to an agreement on borders. Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered up to 97% of the territory, including land swaps. Prime Minister Olmert reportedly offered 99.5% with land swaps, including a corridor linking the West Bank and Gaza. Roughly 80% of Israeli settlers live close to the Green Line and can be incorporated into future Israeli borders with minimal land swaps. The rest would likely have to be relocated and compensated so that they could build new homes inside Israel.

Download a discussion guide on Borders

Learn More About Borders

But what about…

But hasn’t settlement expansion made the two-state solution impossible?

But aren’t the pre-1967 lines indefensible?

But weren’t the biblical lands of Judea and Samaria promised to the Jewish people?

But would a Palestinian state be “Judenrein” (free of Jews)?

Important Links

Mapping Mideast Peace
How to Evacuate 100,000 Israelis From the West Bank
Land Swaps–A Guide, Foundation for Middle East Peace

Security

Why Is This An Issue?

In its history, Israel has faced invasion from neighboring Arab states, as well as rocket attacks, terrorist incursions and suicide bombings. Any peace deal will depend on guarantees for Israeli security.

The Israeli Position

Israel has demanded that it retain control of the Jordan Valley to repel invaders or incursions from the east. It has also demanded that the Palestinian state be demilitarized. However, the doctrine of controlling territory to maintain strategic depth is widely considered outmoded, providing little defense from modern threats. Many Israeli military thinkers now see a peace agreement as the best guarantee of Israel’s long-term security.

The Palestinian Position

A peace agreement must not come at the expense of the sovereignty or viability of a Palestinian state. The Palestinians reject any Israeli military presence within their territory and must have a state that guarantees their freedom of movement.

The Outcome

Peace would largely be enforced by Israeli and Palestinian security cooperation, which has already reduced terrorism from the West Bank to very low levels. The United States would guarantee Israel’s security by providing technology and equipment and possibly by establishing a peacekeeping force in the Jordan Valley.

Download a discussion guide on Security

Learn More About Security

But what about…

But aren’t the pre-1967 lines indefensible?

But didn’t Israel withdraw from the Gaza Strip and get rockets in return?

But how would Hamas factor into a two-state solution?

Important Links

Does Israel Really Need to Control the Jordan Valley?
Bad Borders, Good Neighbors
Defensible Borders and Strategic Depth

Refugees

Why Is This An Issue?

The 1948 war that led to the creation of Israel left hundreds of thousands of Palestinians as displaced refugees. Today, their descendants are scattered across the globe, many lacking citizenship and residing in refugee camps. A solution that offers a measure of justice and a mutually agreed-upon solution is a necessary part of a peace treaty.

The Palestinian Position

The Palestinians demand Israeli recognition of responsibility for creating the Palestinian refugee problem and have not formally abandoned the “right” of some seven million Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to their original homes.

The Israeli Position

Israel rejects responsibility for creating the Palestinian refugee problem and rejects any right of return for refugees and their descendants. Israel is proud that it took responsibility for absorbing hundreds of thousands of Holocaust survivors and Jews expelled from Arab states and expects the Palestinian state to do the same for its refugees.

The Outcome

Past peace proposals have offered Palestinian refugees citizenship in a future state of Palestine. Israel has also offered monetary compensation and a symbolic acceptance of some refugees into Israel. Former Prime Minister Olmert reportedly offered to accept 5,000 refugees, while President Abbas has pressed for up to 60,000. The likely outcome would consist of giving all Palestinians the right to live in the State of Palestine, providing monetary compensation for those who choose not to do so, launching an international effort to resettle all Palestinians still living in camps into permanent homes, allowing those in other countries to resettle permanently in the countries in which they reside and allowing a symbolic number to return to Israel for the purpose of family reunification.

Download a discussion guide on Refugees

Learn More About Refugees

But what about…

But doesn’t the “right of return” mean the end of the Jewish state?

But don’t Palestinians deserve to return to their homes in Israel?

But what about recognizing Israel as a Jewish state?

Important Links

Gaza Conflict Overshadows Essential Debate on the Right to Return
Addressing the Palestinian Refugee Problem
Negotiating Under the Shadow of the Palestinian Refugees

Jerusalem

Why Is This An Issue?

Both peoples demand that the city serve as their nation’s capital. The Old City of Jerusalem contains some of the holiest sites in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Israel enlarged its municipal borders to incorporate all of East Jerusalem in 1967 and passed a law formally annexing the city in 1980 but the United States and the international community have never recognized this move. Israel has built large neighborhoods in territory it annexed which now surround the city and are home to hundreds of thousands of people. The city now has a population of around 800,000, of whom 500,000 are Jewish, 281,000 Muslim, around 15,000 Christians with the remainder comprising other groups.

The Israeli Position

Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and must never be divided.

The Palestinian Position

Al Quds (Arabic name for Jerusalem) is the capital of Palestine.

The Outcome

A two-state solution would allow most Arab neighborhoods to fall under Palestinian sovereignty so that it could become the capital of the new state. However that does not necessarily mean re-dividing the city. There are many creative solutions for resolving the issue, including models to share it as an “open city.” Particularly challenging is developing a special regime for the Old City that ensures access for all people to their holy sites.

Download a discussion guide on Jerusalem

Learn More About Jerusalem

But what about…

But isn’t Jerusalem the eternal and undivided capital of Israel?

But hasn’t settlement expansion made the two-state solution impossible?

Important Links

The Urban Challenge of Dividing Jerusalem
Encountering Peace: Negotiating Jerusalem, negotiating peace
Permanent Status Jerusalem: The Proposed Borders

Sign the Petition

Tell Secretary Kerry:

I firmly support bold American leadership to reach a two-state agreement ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that:

  • Bases borders on pre-1967 lines with agreed-upon land swaps and provides robust security guarantees;
  • Evacuates settlements outside Israel’s future borders while compensating the estimated one in five settlers who relocate to make peace possible;
  • Establishes the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestinian neighborhoods as the capital of the future state of Palestine. Holy sites would be internationally protected and accessible to all; and
  • Resolves the Palestinian refugee issue through resettlement in the future Palestine or third countries, compensation and a symbolic level of family reunification in Israel itself.

Mr. Secretary, the compromises necessary for peace will not be easy for either side, but this is the best way for Israel to secure its future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people and for the Palestinians to realize their national aspirations.

Please count me in as part of the great constituency for peace.

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