Founding Statement – 1989

The Jewish Peace Lobby is an American Jewish organization which seeks to promote a just and lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Our roots are in the American Jewish community, but participation in our efforts is open to all.

Our central focus is US foreign policy. We seek policies which will promote the long-term security of Israel as well as promote a humane Israel in which democratic values and human rights are protected. We seek policies which will promote the rights and well-being of the Palestinian people. To these ends, we will regularly engage US policy makers. In addition, we will engage Israeli and Palestinian policy makers.

Up to now, a single lobbying organization has presented itself as speaking for the Jewish community. Their view of what is to be “pro-Israel” is to give largely uncritical support for any actions of any Israeli government. We have a different conception.

We believe that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a conflict between two nationalisms, which have sought their fulfillment within the same piece of territory. We believe that a lasting resolution of this conflict can only be achieved if each party to the conflict acknowledges the other as having the same rights that it claims for itself.

Thus, the Jewish Peace Lobby on the one hand supports Israel and on the other hand affirms the equal right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza, which would live at peace with Israel.

The Jewish Peace Lobby does not seek to specify the exact forms through which self determination is to be expressed. A variety of alternatives are consistent with our principles, provided that they are freely chosen. These include: the State of Israel and the State of Palestine living side by side, having resolved the issues of mutual security and demilitarization.

The Jewish Peace Lobby is a strong supporter of Israel’s right to live at peace within secure and well-defined boundaries. However, we believe that the key to Israel’s long-term security lies in achieving a political settlment with the Palestinian people as well as with the Arab nations. This will require not only progress on the diplomatic front, but respect for civil liberties and human rights of Palestinians during the period of occupation.

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