Dr. Boozman's Check-up

President Obama arrived in Israel today for his first official visit as commander in chief. Before he left, 77 of my colleagues and I sent the President a letter urging him to (1) reaffirm his commitment to working closely with the new government of Israel (2) support unconditional direct negotiations between both the Israelis and Palestinians (3) oppose Palestinian efforts to circumvent direct negotiations or efforts to isolate or delegitimize Israel (4) reiterate the United States’ support for a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and (5) identify policy solutions to address the other urgent and important threats facing Israel and the United States today. 

The overwhelming support in the Senate for this letter demonstrates that the unshakeable bond with our strongest ally in the volatile Middle East isn’t a partisan issue. Thankfully, in Congress there is unity on this issue.

The letter references a Senate-passed resolution—that 89 of my colleagues and I cosponsored—reaffirming our commitment to a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We agree that a clear pathway for peace is through unconditional direct negotiations between both the Israelis and Palestinians. Efforts by the Palestinians to circumvent direct negotiations must continue to be opposed.

These Palestinian efforts are often coupled with campaigns to isolate or delegitimize Israel. In our letter, we thanked President Obama for actively standing by Israel at the UN to try to block such efforts during his first term and called on him to make clear that our relationship with Palestinians will be jeopardized if they seek action against Israel at the International Criminal Court. These attempts to delegitimize Israel are counterproductive to the peace process.

As the shifting landscape of the Middle East continues to rapidly change, it is more important than ever for President Obama to seize this moment to reaffirm our strong support for Israel and revitalize the stalled peace process.

Read the letter by following the link below.

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