Bridge Over Troubled Waters / by Mill VP

As a DC resident, I’ve seen visible signs that Inauguration Day is rapidly approaching. I’ve been notified of closed streets, closed train stations, revised metro schedules, and my grocery store’s supply of frozen pizza is just about gone (a clear statement of intent from my neighborhood). 

As inconvenient (and personally disheartening) as it might be, Trump will become the next President of the United States today and the road ahead is unclear, especially when it comes to foreign policy and most especially when it comes to Israel and Palestine. 

For those watching Congress, the House and Senate have likewise indicated a new and uncharted path on I/P; casting doubt on a two-state solution and acquiescing to settlement construction. As US political discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict enters these new waters, it will continue to grow more partisan. 

This partisan divide didn’t begin with the Trump Presidency, the UNSC resolution on settlements or even the Iran deal, but has steadily grown since the beginning of Obama Administration. As the GOP takes control of the White House, House, and Senate, we will witness a reorientation that will accelerate and intensify this divide.  

Now, if I hear another banal sermon transition or passing comment about how divided this nation is, I’m going to pull my hair out. Not because it’s untrue, but because there are actual consequences. This President and this Congress are going to make real decisions that impact people’s lives domestically and internationally; concrete policy changes are coming down the pipeline. 

As uncharted, divided, unclear, etc. as the waters might be, this is where we swim now. If you’re wading at the knees because going much deeper is cold and uncomfortable, then it’s time to jump in and get going. 

MVP purpose to be bipartisan—we want to build bridges of understanding, and we aim to influence policy. However, we cannot do any of these things without a firm grounding. You can’t build a bridge if you have no substance, beliefs, or principles. As a population engaged in this debate, we rely on our Statement of Principles more than ever. This is the only way we can build bridges and advocate for peace and justice in uncertain times.

Over the coming weeks, we will continue to explore our Statement of Principles and break it down piece by piece. We hope this will paint a picture of where we are headed and highlight the opportunities and challenges ahead.