Jeremy in The Washington Post: A moment to seize in the Mideast

April 13, 2010

Today, The Washington Post published a letter to the editor by J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami, calling on President Obama to seize this critical moment for two states before it’s too late:

A moment to seize in the Mideast
Tuesday, April 13, 2010

As a senior administration official told David Ignatius [“Obama’s Mideast plan,” op-ed, April 7], “Everyone knows the basic outlines of a peace deal” between Israel and the Palestinians. A growing majority also knows that achieving a peace deal will require bold American leadership not only to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish democracy but also to protect America’s national interests.

According to Mr. Ignatius, the president has found bipartisan support from the six former national security advisers urging an American plan to bridge gaps and provide leverage regarding Iran. He will also find strong support among American Jews for bold leadership. Recent polling that we sponsored shows 82 percent support for an active U.S. role in resolving the conflict and 71 percent support for the United States “exerting pressure” on both sides to make the necessary compromises to achieve peace.

The president should seize this as a moment to make history — before it’s too late for Israel, the Palestinians and our own American interests.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, Washington

The writer is executive director of J Street, a nonprofit group advocating U.S. leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli conflicts through diplomacy.