Tell Obama's team: Make Middle East diplomacy a priority

December 1st, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama has just introduced his new foreign policy team and reiterated his determination to chart a new course for American foreign policy, with diplomacy front and center. 

The new administration inherits numerous challenges all across the globe - not least in the Middle East. A critical task facing the President-elect's new team will be deciding quickly where to focus limited time and energy.

Resolving the Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts should be at the top of the list. There is no better way to put the President-elect's vision of new American leadership into action while repairing our image in the world than to engage early and actively in Middle East diplomacy.

Will you write to President-elect Obama's incoming national security team right now asking them to prioritize efforts to bring about a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace?

Click here to send a message to Senator Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, General Jim Jones, Susan Rice, and the rest of Obama's national security team.

We'll use your signatures in meetings on Capitol Hill and with the media to demonstrate the powerful political support in our community for sustained and meaningful U.S. diplomacy to resolve the Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts.

Barack Obama's election provides a major opportunity to repair the U.S. image abroad and in the Middle East. A commitment to meaningful and strong U.S. engagement in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab conflicts would signal a real change of course for U.S. policy in the Middle East.

Resolving these conflicts is also key to addressing other problems in the region. The ongoing, entrenched, and frequently deteriorating Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab conflicts fuel anti-Americanism, undermine America's allies, provide recruiting tools to Al Qaeda, and are political and PR gifts to Iran.  Resolving these conflicts is key to creating a more stable and secure Middle East, dealing with Iran, and fighting the forces of extremism and terror.

There will be those who will try to block any serious American attempt to engage in Middle East diplomacy.  They will ask that preconditions be met.  They will argue that there is no one to talk to.  They will say Israel's best interests are not served by renewed American diplomacy.

They are wrong, and dangerously so.

Opposing Israeli-Palestinian peace through a two state solution puts Israel's security as a Jewish and democratic state at risk.

As outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has repeatedly said, "If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses... the State of Israel is finished." [1] The single best thing we can do to secure Israel as a Jewish and democratic state is to advocate for a negotiated peace with the Palestinians and Arab states.

Israeli and Palestinian leaders as well as opinion leaders around the world are saying that the window is closing on the possibility of a two-state solution and that that option may not exist beyond the next administration.

Will you write to President-elect Obama's incoming national security team right now and ask them to prioritize Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli peace efforts?

Click here to take action.

As we move into a new era with President-elect Barack Obama in the White House, we'll continue to make the case to Congress and the Obama Administration that pursuing diplomatic resolutions to the Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflicts in the Middle East is key to a successful U.S. foreign policy. 

We need your voice to demonstrate to counter those who say there is only weak political support in the U.S. for such a course.  Help us prove the skeptics wrong by clicking the link above.