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U.S. Disengagement or Engagement for Peace?

In his December 10 New York Times column entitled, Reality Check, Tom Friedman wrote, “America must get out of the way so Israelis and Palestinians can see clearly, without any obstructions, what reckless choices their leaders are making.”

In contrast, on December 10 Secretary of State Clinton gave an important speech, recommitting the United States to active leadership for peace and announced that Special Envoy George Mitchell was returning to the Middle East to resume indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

While Friedman’s frustration with the region’s political leaders is understandable, the urgent reality is that progress toward peace is much less likely without U.S. active engagement and that lack of peace is not only terrible for Palestinians and Israelis but also dangerous for U.S. interests, including our vital security interest in reducing the threats of terrorism. Advocates for peace need to stay on message that we support active, fair and firm U.S. leadership for a two-state solution, with security and peace for both Israelis and Palestinians.