J Street is calling on all supporters of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and a two-state solution to condemn the latest statement by Khaled Meshal, the political leader of Hamas, who once again last weekend called for the destruction of Israel.
Visiting Gaza for the first time, Meshal vowed to wipe Israel off the map through resistance and military action. “Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on any inch of the land. … We will free Jerusalem inch by inch, stone by stone. Israel has no right to be in Jerusalem,” he said.
His incendiary words demonstrate how urgent it is for the Obama administration to launch a major new initiative to reach an agreement between the Israeli government and the Palestinians. Absent such an initiative, Palestinian moderates like President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salem Fayyad will continue to lose ground to extremists like Meshal.
In this context, J Street welcomes Abbas’ constructive call for renewed negotiations with Israel and his call on the Arab League not to reject its 2002 peace initiative. His words stood in stark contrast to Meshal’s rejectionist speech.
Israel should respond positively to this proposal and the United States should build on it as a step to bring the parties back to negotiations with the aim of reaching a peace deal quickly.