We welcome President Obama’s promise “to stand steadfast with Israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace” in his State of the Union address tonight. It is now more crucial than ever that the president, and all those concerned about Israel’s future, focus on helping Israel and the Palestinians reach a two-state agreement because Israel’s survival as a secure, democratic homeland of the Jewish people depends on it.
In his first term, President Obama laid out this sound vision for the resolution of the conflict. Following through on his commitment in his second term will require more than words. It will take sustained and substantive diplomatic leadership, and a serious, multi-year effort to help Israelis and Palestinians reach a peace agreement.
The overwhelming majority of American Jews support such an approach, recognizing the necessity of US leadership in resolving this conflict.
President Obama has a new opportunity in his upcoming trip to Israel and the Palestinian territory to demonstrate his seriousness in confronting this challenge. America best serves our historic friendship with Israel when it is actively working to resolve conflicts and advance peace, which ultimately ensures Israel’s existence and security in the Middle East. An Israel at peace with its neighbors is both an Israeli and US interest. It is critical that the president seize this historic moment to lead the way in achieving a two-state solution.