Monday, November 30, 2009

Ackerman (D-NY):... I fear that the Arabs will blow it ... again

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), the chairman of the House subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, has praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's announcement that he would undertake a ten month freeze of new settlement construction in the West Bank.

“The temporary restrictions that Israel is adopting—purely as a matter of good faith—should be recognized by Palestinian leaders as an opportunity to reengage with the Israeli government in negotiations on an agreement that will finally put the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians to rest," Ackerman said in a statement. "I hope the Palestinian leadership and Israel’s Arab neighbors seize this opportunity. I fear, given past patterns and practices, that they will be tempted to again make the perfect the enemy of the good, and in doing so, diminish the hope on all sides that peace is possible."

“What Prime Minister Netanyahu has committed to is highly significant and instead of responding with complaints, this courageous step should be cause for positive acknowledgement and for rededication to moving the peace process forward," he continued. “What is needed is for the Prime Minister’s courage to be matched by a willingness among all the parties to move ahead to negotiate the most difficult and challenging issues that stand in the way of a final peace agreement.

“As President Obama has reiterated, the United States is committed to achieving peace between a viable, independent Palestinian state for the Palestinian people, and a secure, democratic, Jewish State of Israel. The decisions announced today will, I hope, bring that achievement closer to fruition."

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