APN to Obama: Time to play hardball


 Check out the statement from Americans for Peace Now.

Here’s a few snippets:

It is time for the US to adopt a tough tone and to use tough language, in public and private, with all parties.  This means stating unambiguously that the achievement of a viable Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement is vital to US national security and that actions by any party that undermine the achievement of this goal threaten those interests.

It means issuing public statements that are sharply critical in the face of intransigence and delay tactics by the parties.  It means framing US frustrations and dissatisfaction with the parties clearly in terms of US interests and the interests of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. It means correcting misleading media stories that distort facts and undermine efforts to make progress toward peace. …

This is not a call for the US to threaten aid to Israel or the PA.  Playing hardball should not and must not mean taking steps that threaten Israel’s security or further hurt the Palestinian humanitarian situation.  To the contrary: the US must assure both sides that as they move toward peace, America and the international community would work tirelessly to enhance their security, international legitimacy and well-being.

At the same time, the US has other forms of leverage which it can to bring to bear.  This includes diplomatic signals of displeasure and shifts in tone on sensitive policy areas.  The Obama Administration also has the ability to impose real costs on the parties, without cutting US assistance, both with and without Congressional approval.  The Obama Administration should make a comprehensive assessment of its leverage options vis-à-vis all parties, and it should make clear to the parties that it is ready to use this leverage, if required.

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