Members of the Knesset (MKs), including Caucus for Ending the Israeli-Arab Conflict Chair MK Hilik Bar (Labor), submitted a bill yesterday that would, if adopted by a majority of the Knesset, for the first time in Israel’s history enshrine into law that it is the state’s policy to pursue a two-state solution, representing the true will of Israelis toward peace with their Palestinian neighbors.
Passage of the law would also
signal to the international community that Israel is committed to a two-state
solution, at a time when such an outcome is coming under threat.
WATCH: Israel’s Channel 2 News interview with MK Bar (Hebrew w/ English subtitles)
"The window of opportunity for a two-state peace agreement is shrinking; this bill is tantamount to giving a strong, new impetus to the government and the coalition to enter negotiations immediately, and promote the Two-State Solution,” MK Bar said in a press release Tuesday.
OneVoice Israel (OVI) Director Tal Harris echoed these sentiments: “We as citizens have a responsibility to ensure that the push for two states is top of the Knesset agenda. There is a majority out here on the streets who want it, and a majority in the Knesset who believe in it, too. It is OneVoice’s role to connect and energize these two constituencies, allowing each to strengthen the other.”
OneVoice, which supports a two-state solution that ends the occupation and conflict and is committed to the 1967 borders, was an integral founding partner of the Caucus for Ending the Israeli-Arab Conflict and the formation of the legislation. In support of the Caucus’ efforts, OVI launched a “Roundtable Peace Initiative” on June 23 to build support for the Caucus at the grassroots level. Nearly 2,000 people in 11 cities across Israel rallied to revive the Middle East peace process. Twenty leading Israeli peace organizations – including OVI – took part. A wide range of decision makers, issue experts, MKs, intellectuals, academics, former senior defense officials, and media attended. In Mattan Peretz’s eyes, the collaboration between the co-hosts and the engagement of the Israeli public made the event truly “unique.”
Highlights of the roundtable events are below.
There is no doubt that OneVoice’s grassroots work in Israel has found a foothold on the political level. But the backing of international supporters, too, will be vital to achieve a two-state solution and an end to the conflict.