Press Release
Contact Information: Hussein Ibish
July 15, 2009 - 12:00am

Secretary Hillary ClintonWashington DC, July 15 – The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) today warmly welcomed remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reiterating US support for the creation of a Palestinian state and an end to Israeli settlement activity. Sec. Clinton said that, “We wasted no time in starting an intensive effort on day one to realize the rights of both Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace and security in two states, which is in America’s interests and the world’s.” She reiterated the need for an end to Israeli settlement activity and noted that, “For the last few decades, American administrations have held consistent positions on the settlement issue. And while we expect action from Israel, we recognize that these decisions are politically challenging.” The Secretary called on the Palestinians to “improve and extend the positive actions already taken on security, to act forcefully against incitement, and to refrain from any action that would make meaningful negotiations less likely.”

Sec. Clinton urged Arab states to “support the Palestinian Authority with words and deeds” and increase their involvement in the peace process. She noted that, “The Saudi peace proposal, supported by more than twenty nations, was a positive step. But we believe that more is needed. Anwar Sadat and King Hussein crossed important thresholds, and their boldness and vision mobilized peace constituencies in Israel and paved the way for lasting agreements. By providing support to the Palestinians and offering a concrete opening, however modest, to the Israelis, the Arab states could have the same impact.” “So I say to all sides,” she continued, “sending messages of peace is not enough. You also act against the cultures of hate, intolerance and disrespect that perpetuate conflict.”

During the question and answer session, the Secretary added that, “we have been working literally nonstop to set up the conditions” for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and that “our commitment is deep and durable and I don’t get easily discouraged.” “I have actually been heartened by what I have seen in the last six months,” she said. Asked about the role of Hamas, Sec. Clinton reiterated that the United States is “firmly committed to the Quartet principles” and emphasized that, “what we want to do is get negotiations going between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.”

ATFP President Ziad J. Asali said, “Secretary Clinton today demonstrated the leadership, vision and commitment needed to secure meaningful progress towards an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We strongly agree that not only Israel, but also the Palestinians and the Arab states have an important role to play in making this possible. President Obama, Secretary Clinton and others have been firm with Israel on the need to end settlement activity, and it is vital that the Arab states demonstrate that they too are willing to play their part in building the groundwork for a broad, regional approach to peace based on the creation of a Palestinian state and the normalization of Arab relations with Israel. Secretary Clinton is to be commended and supported in her efforts to get all parties to meet their responsibilities for peace.”


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