Support for Arab-Israeli-Palestinian Peace is Big Time Bi-Partisan
Progress toward Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace has depended on active leadership by Democratic and Republican Administrations:
- In 1979, President Carter’s help was essential to achieving the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty.
- In 1982-83 President Reagan’s Initiative for Peace pushed the PLO toward acceptance of Israel and insisted on the “immediate adoption of a settlement freeze by Israel.”
- In 1992 President George H.W. Bush and Secretary of State Baker brought all the parties face to face for the first time in the Madrid Peace Conference.
- In 1993 President Clinton hosted the Oslo Israel-PLO Declaration signing and, just before leaving office, offered the parties “parameters for peace” which continue to provide the outline for resolution of the final status issues.
- In 2005 President George W. Bush declared U.S. support for a viable, independent Palestinian State and during the last two years of his second term, he and Secretary of State Rice pressed Israel and the Palestinian Authority toward a two-state peace agreement.
- In 2009 President Obama made Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace an urgent priority of U.S. policy and appointed Senator George Mitchell Special Envoy for negotiations.
Support from Congress for active, fair and firm U.S. leadership for peace is important but sometimes sadly, instead of support, Congress has built roadblocks on the path to peace. As time is running out for a workable two-state solution, our message to the new Congress needs to be, “Support progress toward peace, don’t stand in the way.” One of the best, most objective guides to U.S. leadership for peace is the book Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace by Daniel Kurtzer, America’s Jewish U.S. Ambassador to Egypt 1997-2001 and U.S. Ambassador to Israel 2001-2005.