January 28, 2020 — New York
President Trump released his long-anticipated plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace. We welcome the years-long effort to create a detailed vision for the path forward.
The fact that both major political parties in Israel support the plan says something about a broad Israeli consensus.
So, too, the striking presence at today’s announcement of ambassadors from three Arab countries — Bahrain, Oman, and United Arab Emirates – as well as encouraging statements from a few other Arab nations.
“Clearly, the yearning for an end to the conflict, after seven decades and repeated rejections of previous plans by the Palestinian leadership, is growing ever stronger in the region, but time isn’t necessarily on the Palestinians’ side, as they always assumed,” said American Jewish Committee (AJC) CEO David Harris. “No one expects the parties to endorse every proposed element with equal enthusiasm. But there’s a potential basis here for starting talks in earnest and with the knowledge that there are important provisions — and, yes, painful concessions — for both sides. Accordingly, this ought to be a time for quiet exploration, discussion, and restraint in seeking to start the process of direct negotiations.”
For nearly three decades since the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference, AJC, a steadfast friend of Israel since its rebirth in 1948, has traveled extensively in the Arab world, including the West Bank. The aim has been to explore possibilities to advance the peace process based on an enduring two-state accord, and help create a regional climate conducive to an overall settlement between the Arab world and Israel. In that regard, AJC has always believed in direct negotiations between the parties, facilitated by the good offices of the United States.
“Now more than ever, in the best interests of peace, the Palestinian Authority should resume talking to the U.S. and return to the negotiating table with Israel,” Harris added.