Press Release
Contact Information: Hussein Ibish
June 4, 2009 - 12:00am

Washington, DC, June 4 -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) warmly welcomed the speech delivered today by President Barack Obama in Cairo. “It is time for us to act on what everyone knows to be true,” the President said, as he reaffirmed the determination of the United States government to seek a negotiated agreement between Israel and the Palestinians that allows for the creation of a Palestinian state to live in peace and security alongside Israel. He correctly stated that, “the only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security.” The President stated boldly and clearly that such an agreement “is in Israel's interest, Palestine's interest, America's interest, and the world's interest,” and that “Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's.” President Obama also reiterated that, "The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop." ATFP was deeply gratified by the President’s recognition that for the Palestinian people the occupation is “intolerable.”

ATFP was also appreciative of President Obama's pledge that, "America will align our policies with those who pursue peace, and say in public what we say in private to Israelis and Palestinians and Arabs.” The Task Force strongly agrees with the President that, “Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed,” and that, "Now is the time for Palestinians to focus on what they can build." ATFP also welcomed President Obama's statement that "the Arab States must recognize that the Arab Peace Initiative was an important beginning, but not the end of their responsibilities.”

ATFP President Ziad J. Asali said, "President Obama's address in Cairo today was a bold and brilliant articulation of what all parties -- the United States, Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab states -- must do to secure a peace agreement that is in all of our interests. We warmly welcome and strongly agree with the President's strong stance in favor of peace based on two states and opposing settlements, occupation, violence and incitement. President Obama has set the standard of brave and responsible engagement by the United States government in pursuit of peace in the Middle East. It is now incumbent on governments and people around the world to join in the effort and work together to end the Arab-Israeli conflict and to usher in an era of partnership in that troubled region. The Palestinians, the Arab states and Israel all have clearly defined commitments and responsibilities which they must waste no time in acting upon in their own interests. We thank and congratulate the President, and pledge to do everything in our power to support his bold quest for a peace agreement that is strongly in the interests of the Palestinians, the Arab states, Israel and, most importantly, the United States."


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