We the undersigned, call on you, President-elect Obama, to pledge to make resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a top priority of your Administration.
While you come into office with a long list of problems before you, the long-simmering conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is among the most urgent. After eight years of half-hearted diplomacy, there is no time left to walk softly and hope for the best.
The consequences of failing to establish a durable peace are grim. The influence of Iran and Hezbollah would grow among an increasingly bitter Palestinian population, and extremists would have further excuse to do vicious battle with the West. It is difficult to calculate the damage that a downward spiral into fresh waves of violence could hold.
American Presidents traditionally look to the Jewish community for insight on Israel-related policy. As Jewish clergy, we pledge to mobilize our people behind your leadership for a mutually-acceptable, two-state solution. We pledge to support you through difficult, trying times, and to celebrate with you when the job is done. We pledge to let the American public know: An American President who dedicates himself to the establishment of a durable Israeli-Palestinian peace acts in the best interests of Israel and the United States.
* We call on you to dedicate yourself to the establishment of a viable Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel early in your first term.
* We call on you to appoint, within your first 100 days in office, a high-level, highly-regarded envoy to the region, an individual who has the ear of both Israelis and Palestinians, the respect of the American people, and ready access to your Oval Office.
* We call on you to establish mechanisms of enforcement and follow-through, so that decisions made and agreements signed will be respected and brought to fruition.
"American Presidents traditionally look to the Jewish community for insight on Israel-related policy."--apparently, they have never heard of the State Department.Amazing, calling on Obama to push a square peg through a round hole.
Are they oblivious to the fact that the Palestinians are not ready for a state and that a state at this point would only create another base for terrorist attacks?
And to top it all off--they do not even try to distinguish between the PA and Hamas. They don't even mention them! In other words, they are not pushing for a state on the West Bank alone, but dealing with Hamas just as with the PA.
Forget the reality on the ground--just have Obama create a second Palestinian state!
Similarly, they have a letter to Olmert, asking that he take it easy on Gaza, repeating the Hamas line on conditions in Gaza.
There is plenty of room for debate, but at least let's recognize some basic realities.
Crossposted on Soccer Dad
Crossposted on Soccer Dad
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