So Netanyahu managed to spend his entire sojourn in DC without uttering the magic words “two state solution.” On the upside, however, the Obama team has laid down the line on Israel harder than any American administration in recent memory – particularly on the issue of a settlement freeze.
Note Clinton’s forceful words on the subject during this recent Al-Jazeera interview:
We want to see a stop to settlement construction – additions, natural growth, any kind of settlement activity – that is what the president has called for.
Clinton’s words here were actually very carefully chosen. Indeed, one of the latest tactics of the Israeli government to skirt this issue is to insist on allowing additional construction on existing settlements to accommodate “natural growth.” During a visit to Washington earlier this month, the increasingly disappointing Shimon Peres, put it this way:
Israel cannot instruct settlers in existing settlements not to have children or get married. These children are not going to live on roofs.
(The mind reels with potential witty rejoinders to that whopper. I’ll refrain..)
We should at least be heartened that Obama has unequivocally drawn the line on settlements – but he still has an incredibly difficult job ahead of him. As Clinton puts it in the interview, now the hard work starts.
We in the American Jewish community are not exempt from this work. If we truly believe that a just and viable two-state solution is in the best interest of all concerned, then it’s time for us to stand up and say so. Click here to do just that.