The following principles should undergird our understanding and our action on behalf of a just peace in the Middle East:


* We need to oppose both anti-Semitism as well as any form of discrimination and racism against Palestinian Arabs. Solutions that promote or tolerate discriminatory and racist institutions and practices should be forthrightly condemned. Settlements, illegal under international law and discriminatory against Palestinians, need to be rejected rather than tolerated and legitimized.

* We need to work for justice, which requires that we work for a solution that levels the playing field rather than seek a “realistic” approach that reflects the balance of power between the parties, necessarily favoring the strong against the weak.

* We need to seek reconciliation and peace between the parties, rather than assuming eternal hostility and enmity between the parties.

* We need to build bridges, not walls, and seek arrangements that maximize freedom of movement, cooperation, and contacts rather than separation and avoidance.

* We need to again reassert our commitment to international law, international institutions, and universal values.

* We need to promote human rights and the principles of democracy and human respect. Where abuses occur, by either party, we should be ready to speak out and act against it.

* Most of all, we must insist on our prophetic role, where it comes to injustices and evils, but humble when it comes to our abilities to create a political solution. The appeal to be involved in “solving the problem” must be resisted if it forces us to abandon our principles since, at the end of the day, we will be left without a just solution and without the moral authority of our principled prophetic stand.


—Jonathan Kuttab