J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami released the following statement today urging Palestinian President Abbas to agree to direct talks with strong American engagement:
J Street calls on Palestinian President Abbas to respond to the calls of the international community and to agree to immediately resume direct peace negotiations with Israel. J Street is supportive of efforts the United States is making to move toward negotiations in which Israel and the Palestinians are direct participants, and in which the United States plays an active and sustained role.
Achieving a diplomatic resolution to the conflict will require that the United States, Israel, the Palestinians, and the greater Arab world negotiate with a seriousness of purpose suited to the urgency of the moment. For negotiations to be successful, the Obama Administration will need to play a strong role, providing concrete ideas to bridge gaps, pressing both sides to make the difficult but necessary compromises for peace, and holding the parties accountable for results on a tight timetable.
The stakes are high, but we must all remember that the status quo is unacceptable. Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic home, Palestinian independence, and vital American interests in the region hang in the balance. President Abbas should agree to direct talks with serious American engagement now.