Press Release
Contact Information: Hussein Ibish
January 13, 2009 - 1:00am

Washington, DC, Jan. 13 -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) welcomed explicit and strongly worded support for peace in the Middle East based on the creation of a Palestinian state to live alongside Israel from Secretary of State-designate Clinton at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today.


Sen. Clinton told the committee, “…we must also actively pursue a strategy of smart power in the Middle East that addresses the security needs of Israel and the legitimate political and economic aspirations of the Palestinians...” Reaffirming her personal, the new Administration’s, and the United States government’s commitment to securing peace in the Middle East, Sen. Clinton told the committee that, “As intractable as the Middle East’s problems may seem – and many Presidents, including my husband, have spent years trying to help work out a resolution – we cannot give up on peace.” While affirming Israel’s right to defend itself, she decried “the tragic humanitarian costs of conflict in the Middle East” and “the suffering of Palestinian and Israeli civilians,” and observed that “This must only increase our determination to seek a just and lasting peace agreement that brings real security to Israel; normal and positive relations with its neighbors; and independence, economic progress, and security to the Palestinians in their own state.”

Sen. Clinton promised that as Secretary of State she would help ensure that in the incoming Obama administration, “We will exert every effort to support the work of Israelis and Palestinians who seek that result.” “It is critical not only to the parties involved but to our profound interests in undermining the forces of alienation and violent extremism across our world,” she added.

ATFP President Ziad J. Asali said, “We warmly welcome Secretary of State-designate Clinton’s strongly stated commitment to crafting an end of conflict agreement in the Middle East based on to states, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security.” He continued, “We strongly agree that the suffering of innocent civilians in the ongoing and tragic war in Gaza only underscores the need for urgent progress towards a diplomatic resolution of the conflict, as this is the only path away from violence.” He concluded, “ATFP has always argued that achieving an end-of-conflict agreement is not only in the vital national interests of Israel and the Palestinians, but, as Secretary-designate Clinton put it today, that it is also in our ‘profound’ American national interests to secure the establishment of a Palestinian state as the basis for peace in the Middle East.”


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