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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom

Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace

As I See It: Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be priority for Obama

The Kansas City Star

November 24, 2008

By Allan Abrams, Kansas City Chapter

Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict needs to be a top priority of the incoming U.S. administration.

The conflict is not intractable, and much of the work has already been done — the Clinton parameters and Geneva Accord have already set the stage and laid out the terms.
The last eight years of diplomatic neglect have demonstrated the dangers of failing to engage in vigorous diplomacy.

Talking the talk and hoping that things will get better are not enough.

A two-state solution to the conflict will serve not only Israeli and Palestinian needs, but also American interests.

In Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran, and throughout the Muslim world, the on-going conflict serves to inflame anti-American passions among extremists.

Acting decisively to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would greatly enhance America’s image and authority.

To be effective, President-elect Barack Obama will have to engage with the process fully, from Day One.

He will have to appoint an envoy who has the respect of all parties. Obama will have to be willing to make unpopular demands as he shepherds the two sides to compromise.
The new president will have to insist that agreements are honored, and he will have to employ all of the tools of diplomacy — both the carrots and the sticks.

For guidance on issues relative to Israel, America’s elected officials traditionally look to its Jewish community, 87 percent of which supports a two-state solution to the conflict.

And prior to the election, 68 percent said they would be more likely to support a presidential candidate who pledged to take an active role in the peace process.

Allan Abrams is a member of the national board of of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom and chairs its Kansas City chapter. He lives in Prairie Village.

 

 

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