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

December 1, 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?


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

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?

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

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.