Statement of Principles

We are guided by our vision of a Jewish, democratic, secure Israel, and our values of Zionism, forthrightness, intellectual integrity, partnership, and perseverance, to the following principles:

On Preserving and Advancing Two States

A two-state outcome is necessary to fulfilling the Zionist dream of a Jewish and democratic Israel. Only a secure Israel alongside a viable and independent Palestinian state can ensure the future that Israel’s founders envisioned. We accordingly support efforts that work toward this goal, that preserve prospects for two states and make the realization of a viable two-state outcome more likely, and we oppose efforts that endanger a future two-state outcome.

On Advancing U.S. Interests and the National Aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians 

It is in the U.S. interest to support and work toward a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that acknowledges the legitimate national aspirations of both sides with the understanding that the endurance of each depends on the fulfillment of both, that recognizes the connection that both sides have to the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and that is ultimately accepted by Israelis and Palestinians. We encourage robust American efforts to achieve such a resolution.

On the Importance of Israel’s Security 

Israel’s security is of paramount concern, vital to promoting U.S. interests in the Middle East and vital to guaranteeing Israel’s stability. Having a full understanding of Israeli security doctrine and needs, the threats to Israel’s security, and Israel’s relationships within and beyond the region is critical to effectively working toward a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Similarly, it is a U.S. interest to promote freedom, security, prosperity, and dignity for Israelis and Palestinians, and advancing policies that do so is an important component of any fair resolution to the conflict.

On Israel’s Regional Integration 

Israel’s challenge in the 21st century has evolved from one of basic survival in the Middle East to one of fully integrating into the region. Normalization between Israel and its neighbors should be supported and welcomed, even as we acknowledge that normalization will remain incomplete so long as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains unresolved and that the Palestinians should be included in the normalization process.

On U.S.-Israel Relations and U.S. Leadership

A strong U.S.-Israel relationship is at the core of American regional policy and comprises Israel’s most important diplomatic and security asset. Preserving this relationship is of vital interest to both countries, and understanding that common interests and values sit alongside areas of tension that must be worked through is critical to ensuring the future of U.S.-Israel relations and to maintaining U.S. leadership in working to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On the Responsibility of Israeli and Palestinian Leadership

Israeli leaders and Palestinian leaders have agency in working toward a final-status agreement to resolve the conflict, in ensuring that conditions on the ground will allow for such a resolution, and in preparing their peoples for the decisions and compromises that will make such an agreement possible. While it is incumbent upon the U.S. and other international actors to assist Israelis and Palestinians in cooperation, coordination, and negotiation, Israeli and Palestinian leadership must make and implement the necessary decisions for Israelis and Palestinians to live alongside each other in peace and security.

On American Jewish Engagement and Debate 

Israel is the state and homeland of the Jewish people. North American Jews have a stake in Israel and Israel’s future, irrespective of not being Israeli citizens. Debate about Israel and its policies should be grounded in a commitment to Israel’s survival and well-being, along with a fundamental acceptance of Israel’s legitimacy in the community of nations. American Jews have the right to disagree with and criticize the Israeli government and the policies that it chooses to pursue, which comes with respect for Israel’s democratic process and the fundamental right of the Israeli government to pursue policies of its choosing.

On The Role of Education, Research, and Analysis 

A better understanding and knowledge of Israeli politics, Israeli society, and Israeli policy leads to a better American Jewish engagement with Israel and better American policy. We will always endeavor to foster greater knowledge, through research and analysis, in order to promote smart policies and informed conversation about Israel’s place in the world, the U.S.-Israel relationship, Israel’s long-term future and security, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.