Hagel Agrees with ISG – Solving Israel-Palestine of Critical Importance to the Region

In a speech delivered shortly after the release of the Iraq Study Group’s report, Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) echoed the sentiments expressed by the report’s authors of Israeli-Palestinian conflict’s relevance to the tensions across the region.

He said, “Just as our strategy on Iraq requires a regional context, America’s occupation of Iraq has deep and wide implications for our position in the Middle East. This is another point that was made in the Baker-Hamilton Commission report. They spoke of the need to engage Syria and Iran and renew a focused commitment to a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

“In the Middle East, the core of instability and conflict is the underlying Arab-Israeli problem. Progress on Middle East peace does not ensure stability in Iraq. But, for the Arab world, the issue of Middle East peace is inextricably, emotionally and psychologically linked with all other issues. Until the United States helps lead a renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace process, there will be no prospect for broader Middle East peace and stability. It is in America’s vital interest that the President engage our Middle East and international partners to restart a Middle East peace process that will have the confidence of Arabs and Israelis. Processes are important and our lack of attention to this reality has crippled much of our efforts in the Middle East since 9/11…

“I believe America is coming dangerously close to isolating itself in the Muslim world. If we continue to lose our political capital with the Muslim world, we will lose our credibility, trust and ability to lead a renewed Middle East peace process and see a further erosion in East-West relations. We may be on a very precipitous course toward an East-West collision. A Judeo-Christian/Muslim split would inflame the world.”

To read his full speech, please click here.

Explore posts in the same categories: Middle East Peace, U.S. Role

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