For a Change in U.S. Foreign Policy
Jewish Voice for Peace calls for a U.S. foreign policy that promotes social justice and human rights. Hence, the United States must stop supporting repressive policies in Israel, the rest of the Middle East, and elsewhere. U.S. military aid to countries in the Middle East must fully comply with international humanitarian and human rights law as well as U.S. Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts, which restrict military aid to defensive purposes within the recipient state’s borders and prohibit military aid to states that abuse human rights.
Under these guidelines, U.S. military aid to Israel must be suspended until Israel dismantles its settlements and ends the occupation. Military aid has enabled Israel to ignore its legal obligations, including repeated demands by the U.N. Security Council, U.N. General Assembly, and International Court of Justice to end its settlements, and perpetuate belligerent behavior that has made it impossible to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In addition, U.S. military, economic, and diplomatic aid has allowed the entrenchment of Israel’s occupation, furthered the devastation of Palestinian society and fostered the increasing militarization and corresponding culture of repression within Israel proper.
JVP also calls for suspension of military aid to other human rights abusers in the Middle East. This aid helps prop up autocratic and repressive regimes, promotes violations of human rights and international law, obstructs democratic movements, prolongs the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and fosters militarism and violence at home and abroad.
For Palestinian-Israeli Peace
- Israelis and Palestinians have the right to security, sovereignty, and self-determination within political entities of their own choosing.
- Israel must end its occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, completely withdraw from these Occupied Territories and relinquish all its settlements, military outposts and by-pass roads.
- Jerusalem has to be shared in a manner that reflects its spiritual, economic, and political importance to both Israelis and Palestinians, as well as to all Jews, Muslims and Christians.
- The plight of Palestinian refugees needs to be resolved equitably and in a manner that promotes peace and is consistent with international law. Within the framework of an equitable agreement, the refugees should have a role in determining their future, whether pursuing return, resettlement, or financial compensation. Israel should recognize its share of responsibility for the ongoing refugee crisis and for its resolution.
- The parties must equitably distribute water and other natural resources.
- Diplomatic negotiations between the two parties must be made compatible with international legal obligations, including the end of Israel’s occupation
For Human Rights
- All people of the Middle East deserve the right to democratic participation and equality within their societies, regardless of religion, ethnicity, culture, national origin, language, race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or other status.
- Israel must cease its use of military force against Palestinian civilians, including attacks involving American-supplied F-16s and Apache helicopters. Moreover, Israel must stop land seizures; destruction of homes, infrastructure, orchards and farms; arbitrary arrests and imprisonment; torture; assassinations; expulsions; curfews; travel restrictions; abuse at checkpoints; raids; collective punishment; and other violations of human rights.
- Palestinians must stop suicide bombings and other attacks on Israeli civilians.
- The international community must support Palestinian efforts to promote democracy and human rights, while understanding that this aim cannot be fully achieved under occupation.
- The international community should promote social justice and full equality for all residents in the internationally recognized borders of Israel.
- Racism and bigotry cannot be tolerated, whether in the U.S. or abroad, whether against Arabs or against Jews.