Consensus Building Around Bolder American Moves

December 14, 2010

Consensus is growing that a bolder, more assertive American approach is necessary to break the stagnation and make progress toward a two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In a speech on Friday night, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed frustration with the state of talks:

“The United States will not be a passive participant. We will push the parties to lay out their positions on the core issues without delay, in good faith, and with real specificity.”

J Street urges the Obama Administration to follow through on Secretary Clinton’s strong words and set a clear strategy for moving forward. After too much talking about talking, Israel, the Palestinians, and the region as a whole cannot afford yet another delay. It’s time for a bold new American strategy, focused on borders and security, before it’s too late. Indicating further momentum for a new consensus around bolder American moves, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk laid out what’s at stake and called for a new American approach, focused on borders:

“Israel’s demographic clock has not stopped ticking, and continuing the occupation is eroding its international legitimacy. Hamas and Hizbollah, with Iran’s backing, have not given up on their determination to use terror, violence and threats to destroy Israel to advance their agenda. Palestinian police in the West Bank will not forever fulfill their responsibilities if the path to independent statehood looks permanently blocked. And moderate leaders such as Mr. Abbas and Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, will not stay long in power if they are unable to demonstrate that talks with Israel and West Bank state-building can produce liberation from occupation. Instead of giving up on peacemaking, it would therefore be wiser to use the blessed demise of this settlement-focused process as a chance to build a more productive way to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

The outlines of an agreement are well-known – but the parties don’t have the trust, strength or credibility to drive this process alone. The United States must play a bold, assertive role and put forth a real proposal for ending the conflict.