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March 23, 2014 1:29 pm

J Street: ‘Unreasonable’ to Expect PA Recognition of Jewish State Right Now

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A J-Street graphic. 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.”

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