Israel Policy Forum applauds President Biden for a successful trip to Israel and the West Bank and for his engagement with Israelis and Palestinians through the lens of shared values and U.S. national interests in a secure Israel and a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Jerusalem Declaration, signed by President Biden and Prime Minister Lapid, reaffirming a U.S.-Israel strategic partnership rightly identifies American commitments to Israel’s security and to its integration into the wider Middle East as deeply-rooted bipartisan priorities and demonstrates the strong foundations of U.S.-Israel ties that transcend party and individual leadership.

We particularly welcome President Biden’s unwavering commitment to a two-state outcome as U.S. policy, and we hope that in the weeks and months ahead, the Biden administration translates that commitment to tangible steps to advance this goal. Shared American and Israeli values and the interests of both countries dictate that they work toward the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel, and the fulfillment of Palestinian national aspirations furthers the vision of a secure Israel inside an integrated Middle East to which President Biden has demonstrated his bedrock commitment. U.S. efforts to further normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia are an integral part of this vision, as are measures to improve the lives of Palestinians, and we applaud the steps that were announced this week on both of those fronts. The paths toward two states and toward full diplomatic relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia intersect, and while neither of these end goals is imminent, we urge the U.S. to be persistent in its efforts to advance steps that can bring them about.

A two-state outcome to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Israel’s full acceptance in the region are too important to let slip away, and both will require sustained U.S. attention. We call on the United States, Israel, and the Palestinians to work together in focusing on the political initiatives that will enable these goals to come to fruition and to arrest the slide of Israelis and Palestinians into a one-state reality. We hope that President Biden’s visit to the region is the start of a renewed effort along these lines and that it signals to all sides a U.S. commitment to a Middle East in which a secure Israel and an independent Palestine are part of a broad regional coalition advancing freedom, stability, and prosperity.