Today's confirmation of John Kerry as Secretary of State is an important signal of bipartisan support for one of our nation’s most distinguished foreign policy leaders.
J Street welcomes the vote and is encouraged by the Secretary's statements during his confirmation hearing and elsewhere that Israeli-Palestinian peace is among the top items on his agenda. Reaching a two-state solution in the next few years is the only way to guarantee Israel’s survival as a secure, democratic homeland of the Jewish people.
"John Kerry has the experience and talent to be a great Secretary of State, and there is no issue more important to the national security of the United States as well as the people of the region, than resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," said J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami. "Kerry has made it clear that he sees this as a top priority and, with President Obama's help, we feel he has the personal contacts and stellar reputation to make a real impact."
Last week's Israeli election, which moved the country closer to the political center, has created a more favorable environment for peace efforts. The next important signal will come from President Obama's State of the Union Address on Feb. 12. Only firm and bold US leadership can bridge the gap between the parties, and J Street is confident that President Obama and Secretary Kerry will provide exactly that.
The overwhelming vote to confirm Kerry shows he has broad support for his work from the Senate to match the overwhelming support for a two-state solution that exists among the American Jewish community.