(IsraelNN.com) The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) endorsed last week, for the first time, a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict - and member-organization Orthodox Union (OU) abstained. A statement of explanation by the OU is due out in a number of hours.
Representing 14 national American Jewish groups and 125 local American Jewish community relations councils, the JCPA called for the American Jewish community to "affirm its support for two independent, democratic and economically viable states - the Jewish state of Israel and a state of Palestine- living side-by-side in peace and security.”
The abstention by the Orthodox Union, one of the 14 member national organizations, aroused great opposition in Israel's national-religious camp. Representatives of this camp who asked why the OU did not actively oppose the creation of a Palestinian state in the Land of Israel were informed by the OU that it had "informed the JCPA of our intention to file a formal, written dissent from the portions of the resolution with which the OU disagrees."
Statement to be Ready "in a Few Hours"
On Wednesday, a top OU official in New York informed Arutz-7 that a statement of clarification regarding the OU's position on a Palestinian state would be ready within a number of hours.
The OU also took pains to explain publicly that it had taken an active role in the JCPA's debate on the resolution, attempting to remove two of its more controversial calls: a call for support of the “two-state solution,” and the call for American Jewish support for Israeli negotiations over the re-division of Jerusalem. These two calls are included in the resolution, however.
The OU also said it succeeded in inserting two statements into the final resplution. The first statement was this: “Israel’s repeated offers to establish ‘two democratic states living side by side in peace and security’ have been met, time after time, by violence, incitement and terror.” In addition, a call for the American Jewish community to support Israel’s recognition by the Palestinian Authority as a “Jewish state” was included.
OU: Settlements not an "Impediment," But Shouldn't be Built
Finally, the OU explained, it succeeded in defeating a proposed amendment to the effect that the expansion of Israeli settlements is an “impediment to peace.” The final resolution, however, expresses approval of Israel's commitment "[not to] allow any new settlements or land acquisitions that are not in accord with the provisions of the Roadmap;" the OU did not state that it objected to this clause.