israel article

Imagine if, instead of announcing new settlement plans, the Israeli government announced a new peace plan instead? That is what J Street proposes the Israeli government should do, and they have come up with a Beyoncé themed online campaign. J Street is an American organisation that is ‘pro-Israel and pro-peace.’ They believe that “Israel’s Jewish and democratic character depend on a two-state solution, resulting in a Palestinian state living alongside Israel in peace and security.”

Now I know a lot of people would have scoffed at the words ‘American,’ ‘pro-Israel’ and ‘pro-peace’ in the same sentence. I did too. But the notion that Israel and Palestine need to move towards a peace settlement, with actual borders and rules, is something I’m sure the whole world would like to see. J Street understands that peace would not only be the right thing to do, but also in the best interests of Israel and America. The non-profit organisation also said ‘we are expanding support for Israel by affirming — along with many Israelis — that being pro-Israel doesn’t require supporting every policy of its government.’

There are academics, universities and organisations all over the world using mathematical algorithms, demographics and maps to try and find the best possible border solutions for Israel and Palestine. Emphasis is on ‘best possible’ as there is no way all the Israelis, living where they are at the moment, will be able to be a part of new Israeli borders without moving. It won’t be easy negotiating territory as that is what both governments want the most.

In all of this, there is a niggling thought that this was Palestine’s land initially, so why should Palestinians have to compromise yet again? The two small parts they have at the moment are separated and pushed to the edges. If the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agrees to create new borders, would Palestine get a good deal? What would happen to Hamas? Netanyahu said Hamas and ISIS were ‘branches of the same poisonous tree’ in his speech at the UN General Assembly’s annual ministerial meeting in New York yesterday. This does not sound like a Prime Minister that is ready for peace or is willing to compromise for the sake of humanity.

The people living in Palestine do not deserve to live in fear of being bombed or starving to death. They have not done anything wrong, and they are by no means all terrorists. This is why peace needs to be brokered because of the generations of people who have had to live in fear. Israel has let this go on too long. Settlement after settlement has been built in Palestinian parts over the years, pushing them back and squeezing their resources. Those are the reasons Hamas are giving to firing rockets to Israel, and Israel is retaliating. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if you stop bullying, penning and restricting Palestinians, then Hamas will have no excuse to fire rockets.

J Street’s #BorderOnIt campaign is encouraging the Israeli Prime Minister to make secure, safe borders with Israel and Palestine. Playing on Beyoncé’s Single Ladies song, the slogan is; ‘If you like it then you should put a border on it.’ The two Beyoncé models in the picture are wearing leotards with the current Palestinian parts with borders. The campaign is getting retweets from politicians, journalists and activists who believe the best solution to the conflict is to have defined borders.

A J Street spokesperson, Jessica Rosenblum, said “We wanted to cut through the crap and get back to basics with an image that was simple, striking, and — humbly submitted — even a bit funny.” Well Beyoncé has pretty much taken over the world; she might know a thing or two about borders.