J Street: ‘Unreasonable’ to expect PA recognition of Jewish state right now

J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami. Credit: J Street.

(JNS.org) In a letter to supporters of the self-labeled “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby J Street, the group’s executive director, Jeremy Ben-Ami, called it “unrealistic and unreasonable” to expect the Palestinian Authority to recognize Israel as a Jewish state at this time.

Ben-Ami’s position mirrors that of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who recently called it a “mistake” to continue to insist on Jewish state recognition in the American-brokered Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations.

“J Street agrees that a final, comprehensive agreement to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will have to address core issues of identity, recognition, rights and redress,” Ben-Ami wrote, according to a March 21 post on the J Street blog. “However, we also believe that failure to resolve these issues at this point should not derail these negotiations. These issues are appropriately settled as part of a final peace agreement—and not now as part of a framework for continued negotiations.”

Ben-Ami added, “Once the parties have settled borders, security, Jerusalem and refugees, mutual recognition can be part of a package deal. But it is simply unrealistic and unreasonable to expect any Palestinian leader to consent to what has become for all intents and purposes an Israeli ultimatum right now.”

Posted on March 23, 2014 .