Op-ed: In Favor of a Two-State Solution

As student leaders of various pro-Israel groups on campus including Tufts Hillel, J Street U Tufts, Tufts Friends of Israel, Tufts American-Israel Alliance and Visions of Peace, we may not always agree on the specifics of how to express our pro-Israel identities, but we stand united in our shared belief in a two-state solution as the most viable solution to the conflict. We believe that advocating for a Jewish, democratic Israel necessitates advocating for an independent state of Palestine, and we believe that politics and morality both dictate the need for negotiations to ensure mutual recognition, security, and freedom for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

Although some envision a single state for both Israelis and Palestinians, the vast majority of experts on conflict resolution deem this binational solution impractical. The history of the Middle East demonstrates that forcing competing national identities into a single state leads to continuous turmoil and conflict. We are deeply committed to promoting human rights, self-determination, and democratic representation for both peoples. The two-state solution is the only solution that addresses the national aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians. Through comprehensive negotiations, we envision an agreement that would grant each group their own country, while addressing difficult issues including the occupation of the West Bank, settlement expansion, security arrangements for both peoples, Israeli-Palestinian mutual recognition, borders, refugees, Gaza, Jerusalem and holy sites.

We believe that the world will find strength in its diversity when every identity is respected on its own terms. This is the argument for self-determination that frames our international system, and we believe that both Israelis and Palestinians have a right to be part of that system.

Recognizing the enduring violence between Israelis and Palestinians, we understand that this conflict must be resolved politically and not militarily. Rather than laying blame on actors on either side, we dedicate ourselves to taking proactive steps to address the issues that stand in the way of peace. A status quo in which Israelis and Palestinians live in fear of violence every day is unsustainable and unacceptable. We must push for a directly negotiated political solution based on 1967 borders.  

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