The White House’s Rehabilitating of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

Last week, CALME luminary Martin Indyk offered testimony to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs regarding “Next Steps in the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process.”  He started explaining that when President Bush came to office, “The words ‘Middle East peace process’ were literally banned from the State Department’s lexicon. Instead, transformation in the Middle East was to take place on the Bush Administration’s watch not through peacemaking but through regime change and democratization. Six years later, the President’s strategy is in deep trouble, and there is now a new receptivity in Washington to relaunching the Middle East peace process.” 

He argues that one of the key reasons for turning to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is that the “neo-realists” in the White House believe that the only way to take on Iran, today’s leading focus, will be through a coalition of regional moderates led by the Sunni Arab states, and that those states will only agree to join together if the White House again focuses on bringing about an independent Palestinian state.

He said that as the President continues to focus on stifling Iran, “Secretary of State Rice has committed to making Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation her first priority. In pursuit of that priority, she will host a trilateral meeting with Prime Minister Olmert and President Mahmoud Abbas on February 19 in Jerusalem, and has committed to monthly visits to the region until she has prepared the ground for a major peace initiative. She deserves Congressional support for this effort.”

To read Indyk’s full testimony, please click here.

Explore posts in the same categories: CALME Luminaries, Israel, Middle East, Middle East Peace, Palestinians, Two State Solution, U.S. Role

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