When President Obama meets Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in the White House on Monday, their conversation will no doubt focus on two issues that are central to the Obama Administration’s foreign policy agenda: Iran and Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
The Obama Administration has expended tremendous energy to achieve an historic diplomatic breakthrough that has a real chance of resolving concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. Simultaneously, Secretary of State John Kerry has in recent months redoubled efforts to achieve a breakthrough on the Israeli-Palestinian track. Seven months of shuttle diplomacy are soon to be crowned by a U.S.-authored “framework” for a future peace agreement, and President Obama is reportedly preparing to intensify his personal involvement in Israeli-Palestinian peace brokering.
President Obama will undoubtedly get strong push-back from Prime Minister Netanyahu. Netanyahu has consistently dismissed and belittled diplomacy with Iran, and has implied that those supporting such diplomacy are undermining Israel’s interests. On the Israeli-Palestinian track, Netanyahu has given lip service to the pursuit of peace and the two-state solution, but has pursued policies on the ground – particularly with respect to settlements – that disclose a very different agenda.
By making a diplomatic solution with Iran and an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement top priorities of his administration, President Obama is arguably doing more than any U.S. president in history to support Israel and work for a future in which Israel can exist as a Jewish state and a democracy, living in security and peace with its neighbors. Thank him for his efforts and encourage him to continue them – even when it means standing up to an Israeli prime minister whose actions and words reveal an agenda that is inconsistent with peace and security for Israel and the Middle East.
Thank President Obama for his efforts to secure Israel’s future. Urge him to stand firm with Netanyahu, for the sake of both Israel and U.S. interests.