President Barack Obama’s bid to renew Israeli-Palestinian peace talks is being challenged by the actions and inactions of Israel, the Palestinians, and key Arab states. It is time for our president to demonstrate leadership and follow through on his promise to hold all parties accountable for their actions.
Israel recently moved ahead on multiple large-scale settlement construction schemes, including a provocative plan to dramatically expand one east Jerusalem settlement. Settlement expansion stands in the way of peace and jeopardizes Israel’s viability as a Jewish and democratic state. Moreover, settlement construction is the most glaring challenge to President Obama’s peace efforts.
American credibility is at stake. If President Obama fails to address the latest provocations in east Jerusalem, it will become increasingly difficult for America to get Israel, the Palestinians, or Arab states to take any steps toward peace.
President Obama needs to face these challenges assertively. He must press Israel to stop construction in east Jerusalem and the West Bank. And he must push all sides into a meaningful negotiations process.
Make no mistake: standing up for peace is the best way to help Israel. Peace is vital for Israel’s future and for American national security interests.
Jack David Marcus
New York, NY