It is Time To Reengage
Just as CALME’s open letter called for, this month we saw the United States, under the determined leadership of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, pledging to truly reengage in active efforts to bring about a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“I’m committed to this,” she said after arriving in Jerusalem for the trilateral summit between Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas. “I’m committed to seeing what we can do to improve life for the Palestinian people, seeing what we can do to improve security for the Israeli people, seeing what we can do to realize the two states living side by side in peace and freedom. And this is the work that takes — it takes hard work, it takes patience, it takes perseverance, it takes getting up, you know, after a bad day and trying to make a better day. And that’s what I’m going to do.”
This pledge from Secretary Rice is one of the best outcomes we could have hoped for when we joined with former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen and former U.S. Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn in a press conference immediately before the President’s State of the Union address to announce that CALME had delivered its letter to the President. We called on the President to promise that reinvigorating international efforts to secure Israeli-Palestinian peace will be a central goal of American foreign policy this year. He took the opportunity, saying “With the other members of the Quartet — the U.N., the European Union, and Russia — we are pursuing diplomacy to help bring peace to the Holy Land, and pursuing the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security.” You can find reports of our press conference on our online journal at https://mideastcalm.wordpress.com.
We must now ensure that this won’t have been Secretary Rice’s last trip to the region.
A successful effort to better the lives of the Palestinians and bring security to the Israelis will only come about through a sustained commitment by Secretary Rice to remain in close contact with both leaders and to visit the region often enough to truly work toward the “diplomatic and political horizon” she sees as leading toward a two-state solution.
Will you help?
Send an e-mail to Secretary Rice telling her that you support her efforts and encourage her to remain committed to actively resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. You can use the following text:
Dear Secretary Rice –
I was heartened by your determination to reengage in the pursuit of a two-state solution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict by holding a trilateral summit with Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas. Thank you for committing yourself to doing what it takes to move both sides closer to peace.
As you well know, there are challenges on the ground now, and more obstacles surely wait ahead. Yet a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will enhance our efforts to build a secure, stable, and more democratic Middle East, and in so doing, serve U.S. national security interests.
Be assured that the support of thousands of Americans like myself who joined together in the Campaign for American Leadership in the Middle East is behind you. We hope that your most recent trip to the region will be your first of as many are needed to halt the continued violence and enmity between the two peoples.
Please forward this message to your friends and loved ones and ask them to support Secretary Rice’s efforts now.
Joel Tauber and George Salem
The Campaign for American Leadership in the Middle East