Let’s face the facts. The 1948 War of Independence, an unavoidable struggle that ensured Jewish liberation and national self-determination, was, at the same time, a tragedy for the Palestinians. Almost 70 years on, the seemingly endless conflict - which has only intensified since the 1967 war - has taken a heavy toll in human life on both sides, causing moral, social and economic decay. Resolving it requires painful compromises on both sides.
Establishing two states for two peoples and ending our rule over the Palestinians on the West Bank is an essential precondition for making Israel a better and more secure place, a country that lives up to the vision of our Declaration of Independence: a flourishing, democratic and pluralistic society; a country that provides for the security and welfare of all its citizens; a nation with zero tolerance for racism and hatred. It is also a precondition for restoring Israel’s reputation as the democratic state of the Jewish People.
The two state solution must be anchored in a final status peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians based on mutual recognition, recognized borders, and clear cut security arrangements - all buttressed by international guarantees. There will be no agreement unless the above conditions are met.
Hiding behind the excuse that there is “nobody to talk to” on the other side makes us all hostages to the extremists, condemning us to live by their dictates. We know there are people with whom to speak on the Palestinian side. However, we must first ask ourselves "Who can we speak with on our own side?"; "What kind of society do we wish to have?"; "What impact does policing a vast population of Palestinians have on our children in the army and on our society at large?"; "How might our lives be different, if we lived in peace?"; "What borders are we willing to accept and what compromises are we willing to make in order to achieve peace?" and more.
After many years of activism, a small group of friends began meeting in May 2014. We studied the issues at hand, listened and debated, sharpened our perspective and formulated our positions, and set goals, objectives and a plan of action. Now we are ready to act.
Join us in a voluntary, non-partisan grassroots effort to generate broad based and effective public pressure on Israel's decision makers. We have no offices, and employ no salaried staff. What we do possess is experience, insight, conviction and a plan of action, together with the will to act and bring about change.
To put the two state solution at the center of Israel's public discourse and at the top of the agenda in the next national elections cycle;
To apply sustained, nonpartisan public pressure on the Israeli government in support of the two state solution - irrespective of its political and ideological inclinations - and on the Knesset and Israel's political parties - while staying clear of their power struggles and internal affairs;
To guarantee broad, popular support for any government that sincerely advocates and pragmatically negotiates with the Palestinians on a final status agreement based on two states for two peoples.
Isn't this overly ambitious? No doubt. But the truth is we have no choice. This is a battle for our future, a struggle for our very way of life. We cannot afford skepticism, frustration and despair.
What is our plan of action? We'd be happy to discuss it with you. Please contact us. It's all based on direct contact, on bring-a-friend and word-of-mouth promotion combined with a slow but deliberate process of systematically expanding grassroots public involvement and support, which will eventually form the solid foundation upon which we build our campaign.
Will we succeed? There are a million obstacles, but there is one, key reason why we must try: because there is a chance - as remote as it may seem today, as big as it may become tomorrow. This chance will only emerge from a genuine non-partisan grassroots voluntary initiative, drawing in more and more people, growing slowly but surely until we are ready to wage a vigorous, focused public campaign. In short, our chance of success depend on each and every one of us. We appreciate your interest, curiosity and willingness to deliberate with an open mind.
This is the legacy of our Declaration of Independence. In short, this is our Zionism: "The State of Israel … will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants … will be based on freedom, justice and peace … will ensure complete equality of social and political rights … will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience…".
If you love Israel, identify with the principles described above and support our MAY14 Covenant, join us.