Rabbis Endorse Bill Supporting ‘Two-State Solution’

RELEASE DATE: September 24, 2021

T’ruah: Two-State Solution Act solidifies U.S. stance against settlements

NEW YORK — Today, T’ruah, a rabbinic human rights organization that represents over 2,300 rabbis and cantors and their communities in North America, endorsed the Two-State Solution Act introduced by Rep. Andy Levin. The bill would promote human rights by strengthening civil society organizations based in occupied Palestinian territories and act as a productive next step toward a two-state solution. 

Rabbi Jill Jacobs, CEO of T’ruah, released the following statement: 

“As a rabbinic human rights organization, we are committed to a just and secure future for both Israelis and Palestinians. The surest way to achieve this goal is with a negotiated resolution based on two states, and protecting the human rights of both Israelis and Palestinians including the rights to self-determination and to citizenship in a state. The Two-State Solution Act represents an important step in affirming the United States’ commitment to ensuring human rights, safety, and security for both peoples. 

 

Anyone who is committed to a peaceful two-state solution must oppose the expansion of settlements and the eviction of Palestinians, both as a violation of international law, and as an obstacle to establishing a Palestinian state side by side with Israel. This proposed bill reaffirms longstanding U.S. policy that recognizes Israel within its internationally-accepted borders, classifies settlements as inconsistent with international law, and opposes unilateral annexation of all or part of the West Bank. 

Crucially, this bill will foster U.S. investment in human rights and civil society for both Israelis and Palestinians by investing in civil society and human rights organizations in the occupied Palestinian territories, while ensuring that U.S. funding supports Israel, not settlement growth. The bill also invests in peace by encouraging people-to-people programming for Palestinians and Israelis through the Nita Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act. These initiatives will help to ensure stable and just societies in both Israel and the future State of Palestine, and will contribute to peace between the two.

We also support the return to diplomatic relations with the Palestinians, including through reopening the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem, and allowing for the reopening of the PLO mission in DC. Without diplomacy, there can be no lasting peaceful solution. 

The Torah demands, “You must fulfill what has crossed your lips” (Deuteronomy 23:24). The Talmud understands this phrase as including both a positive and a negative commandment a positive commandment to carry out “what has crossed your lips” and a negative commandment “to fulfil,” which refers to the prohibition against delaying carrying out one’s vow. (Rosh Hashanah 6a, gloss Rashi)

This is a moment for all Jewish organizations that have officially adopted a position in favor of a two-state solution to stand up and demonstrate this commitment by advocating for the Two-State Solution Act. We invite our colleagues and partners to join us in supporting this crucial step toward ensuring human rights and security for both Israelis and Palestinians. 

T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights mobilizes a network of more than 2,000 rabbis and cantors from all streams of Judaism that, together with the Jewish community, act on the Jewish imperative to respect and advance the human rights of all people. Grounded in Torah and our Jewish historical experience and guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we call upon Jews to assert Jewish values by raising our voices and taking concrete steps to protect and expand human rights in North America, Israel, and the occupied Palestinian territories.