J-Link, the international network of progressive Jewish organizations, welcomes the agreement reached between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to normalize ties between the two countries.
Recognition of Israel’s legitimate existence and the establishment of diplomatic relations, years after the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, is another important step in Israel’s acceptance in the Middle East. This is a welcome move toward integration in a region of the world to which it rightfully belongs.
Israel’s commitment to suspend plans to unilaterally annex areas of occupied Palestinian Territories is a positive step. The worldwide opposition by national governments, international institutions, and civil society to such plans played a significant role in this respect. Opposition was strong and widespread including in the Jewish Diaspora. J-Link is proud to have contributed to the anti-annexation campaign. Normalization with the Arab world is not a substitute for the need to end the occupation and recognize the Palestinians’ right to self determination in a viable, independent state alongside Israel.
The suspension of formal annexation plans, as required of Israel, should not delude the world that the issue of occupation has been put to rest. In fact, it continues unabated with settlement expansion and the building of roads and infrastructure directed at incorporating further areas of the West Bank under Israeli control.
As Jews who care deeply about a secure, peaceful and democratic future in the Middle East, we call on Israelis and Palestinians to renew peace negotiations. Our mission remains the search for an equitable resolution of the conflict based on the principle of two states for two peoples.
What is J-Link?
J-Link is an international network of progressive Jewish organizations from Israel, the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, South Africa, and Australia. We share a love of Israel and a commitment to democracy, human rights, religious pluralism, and a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. We believe in the values enshrined in Israel’s Declaration of Independence, according to which the State of Israel, as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people, ensures “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.” We are greatly concerned by initiatives such as the nation-state Law and policies of unilateral annexation that will defeat the prospect of a two-state solution. J-Link aspires to work with our respective local Jewish communities, our national governments and international organizations to advocate for our values and vision for Israel. For more information please visit www.jlinknetwork.org