The Boston Globe (Editorial)
March 26, 2010 - 12:00am

SECRETARY OF State Hillary Clinton delivered the right message to the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Monday night, declaring that America’s commitment to Israel’s security is “rock solid, unwavering, enduring and forever’’ while affirming that “a two-state solution is the only viable path for Israel to remain both a democracy and a Jewish state.’’

This is a message Israel and its supporters need to hear: The United States wants Israel to avoid actions that harm chances for peace not because President Obama is indifferent to Israeli security, but because Israel and America share a vital interest in forging such an agreement. Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians should all hope that Obama got this point across to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in their two hours of face-to-face talks Tuesday night.

Netanyahu has said he recognizes Israel’s need for a two-state agreement with the Palestinian Authority. If so, he must curb some of the rightist hawks in his coalition, or replace them with the 28 Knesset members of the center-right Kadima Party.

By the same token, Obama must recognize that Netanyahu will not take political risks for peace unless the Israeli public is on board. So Obama, who reached out to Arabs and other Muslims with his Cairo speech last year, needs to convince Israelis that his current display of tough love is just that — and that the deepest interests of Israelis, Americans, and Palestinians converge in a peace accord based on two states for two peoples.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017