JCPA notes with pride Israel’s record as a modern democracy, committed through the words of its Declaration of Independence to freedom, justice and peace, and to the pursuit of the social, political, religious and cultural rights of all of its citizens. Our vision of a democratic and secure Israel is one in which Israel is recognized by and lives in peace with its neighbors in the region.

We advocate for two independent, democratic and economically viable states — the Jewish State of Israel and a State of Palestine — living side-by-side in peace and security. This vision can only be achieved through direct negotiations. Attempts to achieve Palestinian statehood unilaterally through action by the United Nations—as well as efforts by the Palestinians to achieve full membership as a state in UN-affiliated bodies—are counterproductive.

One of JCPA’s top priorities is countering the delegitimization of Israel through the Israel Action Network (IAN), a joint project of JCPA and the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is a global campaign to isolate Israel through economic, cultural, and political pressure. This movement unfairly compares Israel to genocidal regimes in an attempt to undermine the Israel’s legitimacy. While BDS advocates claim to be seeking a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the movement undermines the internationally-supported peace process and decreases chances for a two-state outcome.

We also work across communities to foster frank and civil dialogue that can help Jewish communities to find consensus on difficult issues, including those connected to Israel. Through our programs on civility, we offer strategies that allow participants to begin the difficult yet necessary conversations that can lead to productive outcomes for their synagogues, schools and communities.

At our 2018 national conference, our network unanimously adopted a new resolution supporting Israeli-Palestinian coexistence projects. Widespread mistrust prevents Israelis and Palestinians from reaching a peace deal. Young people especially have lost hope. Though thousands of Israelis and Palestinians on the ground work together daily to bridge this “trust” gap by building cooperation among each other, they must scale up for change to be lasting.

The International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace would help accomplish this grassroots peace-building and create an environment in which diplomats can eventually achieve peace in the Middle East. The Fund would promote and support contact, cooperation, dialogue, shared community building, peaceful coexistence, joint economic development, and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. In addition, it would provide an expert presence on the ground that would take a strategic long-term approach to grassroots peace-building and leverage international donor support.