Clinton: U.S. will renew peace effort


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The United States will renew its push for Israeli-Palestinian peace, Hillary Rodham Clinton said.

The U.S. secretary of state was outlining strategies for addressing the turmoil currently sweeping the Middle East in an address Tuesday to the U.S.-Islamic World Forum.

"We start from the understanding that America’s core interests and values have not changed, including our commitment to promote human rights, resolve longstanding conflicts, counter Iran’s threats, and defeat al-Qaeda and its extremist allies," she said. "This includes renewed pursuit of comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace.

"The status quo between Palestinians and Israelis is no more sustainable than the political systems that have crumbled in recent months. Neither Israel’s future as a Jewish democratic state nor the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians can be secured without a negotiated two-state solution. And while it is a truism that only the parties themselves can make the hard choices necessary for peace, there is no substitute for continued active American leadership. And the president and I are committed to that."

Reports had flourished in recent months that the Obama administration was considering pulling back from deal brokering out of frustration with the Palestinian refusal to rejoin direct talks and Israel’s refusal to freeze settlement building.

Israeli President Shimon Peres said last week that his most critical message during a Washington tour was that the United States needed to remain involved.

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