Opportunities & Risks for President Obama’s Window of Opportunity re Israel/Palestine
Opportunities and Risks for President Obama’s Window of Opportunity re Israel/Palestine
Jewish Voice for Peace policy paper calls on President Obama to lay the groundwork for a future with equality and freedom for both Israelis and Palestinians
November 14, 2016–The period between the election and the inauguration of the president-elect presents an opportunity for President Obama to leave his legacy on Israel/Palestine. Today, Jewish Voice for Peace released a policy paper with recommendations regarding the opportunities and risks of specific actions that President Obama may take before he leaves office.
More than 20 years on, the Oslo peace process has failed to bring about a resolution of the conflict. By enforcing the myth that there is still a viable ‘peace process,’ the United States has allowed Israel to continue to pursue policies that displace, harm and disenfranchise Palestinians, creating facts on the ground to permanently control Palestinian land while denying Palestinians their basic rights.
Given the indications from President-elect Donald Trump that he will not put pressure on Israel to respect Palestinian rights, and the possibility that he will turn a blind eye to settlement construction and comply with Israeli requests such as moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem to cement Israeli sovereignty there, it is more important than ever that President Obama take action.
In this context, Jewish Voice for Peace recommends that any approach that the Obama Administration may take in the period following the U.S. elections must lay the groundwork for a future with equality and freedom for both Israelis and Palestinians. Should the Administration choose to take action before leaving office, it must take care that whatever step is taken avoids further entrenching inequality and injustice.
Rabbi Joseph Berman, Manager of Government Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy:
“There is a significant risk that a presidential action to establish future parameters for resolving the conflict could have the harmful short term effect of entrenching occupation and discrimination, while delaying the kind of actions necessary for a just and lasting peace for both peoples in the long-term. President Obama should reassert the illegality of the settlements and take concrete action to put pressure on Israel to end its violations of international law. Any potential action must lay the groundwork for the president-elect to reorient U.S. policy around a vision for equality and justice for all peoples in the region.”
For more analysis and specific policy recommendations, see Jewish Voice for Peace’s policy paper here.
For Jewish Voice for Peace’s statement on the results of the presidential election see here.