Jones Signals White House Support for J-Street Cause
National Security Adviser Outlines Outreach Strategy on Israel-Palestine Peace Goal

By Spencer Ackerman 10/27/09 4:07 PM

National Security Adviser James Jones (WDCpix)

Granting recognition to a new American Jewish lobby group pressing for peace between Israel and the Arab world, ret. Gen. James Jones, President Obama’s national security adviser, said that resolving the 60-year conflict was the crisis that the Obama administration would prioritize if it could “solve any one problem.”

Jones sharpened the Obama administration’s conception of an end-state to the conflict during a keynote address to the first annual conference held by J Street, the year-old “pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby,” calling for a “secure, Jewish state of Israel” side by side with a “viable, contiguous state of Palestine” that “ends the occupation began in 1967 and unleashes the full potential of the Palestinian people.” No previous U.S. administration has emphasized the essentially Jewish character of Israel or the need for Palestinian territorial contiguity, both of which speak to deep-seated concerns of both sides in the conflict.

The formulation streamlines one unveiled by Obama at the United Nations General Assembly in September and was one Jones recently used in a keynote address to the American Task Force on Palestine, a Palestinian lobby group also seeking a two-state solution, on Oct. 16. And that reflects an emerging strategy of the Obama administration: to