Orthodox Union: Two-state peace model 'stale and illusory'

OU Sends Letter to Senate Foreign Relations Committee ahead of David Friedman U.S. Ambassador to Israel confirmation hearing.

Mordechai Sones,

David Friedman
David Friedman
Israel Trump Campaign HQ

The leadership of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (OU), the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, has sent a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee ahead of its confirmation hearing for David Friedman, President Trump’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to Israel.

In the letter, the OU leaders note that a campaign has been launched to portray Friedman’s skeptical views toward the two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as “extreme and even beyond the pale of mainstream thought…But there is also no denying that many American Jews -- certainly in the Orthodox Union's constituency -- and other pro-Israel Americans share Mr. Friedman’s deep skepticism toward this decades-old approach which has been tried and tested and failed repeatedly to deliver security and peace to the people of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and the region.

"Indeed, we are compelled to note that in its eight year tenure, the Obama Administration tried aggressively to pursue a "two state solution" to no avail. It is the view of millions of pro-Israel Americans - including most of the Orthodox Union's constituents -- that this result is primarily due to the Palestinians' persistent rejectionism. The Palestinians repeatedly, and through their official organs, deny the historic connection of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and their refusal to recognize the legitimacy of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

"In light of this recent history, many pro-Israel Americans, who share the ultimate goal of achieving security and peace for all in the Mideast, view the model of the peace process pursued by past administrations as stale and illusory. These Americans support a new approach to how the United States will engage with this important aspect of American foreign policy.

"No doubt, reasonable and well-meaning people can debate these points and rightly claim they are representing many constituents who subscribe to one side of the debate. But it is wrong to assert, in this context, that the other side's views are extreme and beyond the pale."