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A Letter to Israel from American Jewish Leaders Shows The Problem with American Jewish 'Leaders'

It could have gone like this:

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu:

As Americans who have been and continue to be long-time supporters of Israel’s prosperity, security, and reputation, we were heartened by President Obama’s recent historic visit and his unequivocal assertion that “so long as there is a United States of America you are not alone.”

We believe that this is a compelling moment for you and your new government to continue to strive for peace, as you and other Israeli leaders have done for decades. We know you and Israel have long shown a commitment to a "two-states for two peoples" solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

We are also aware that the 1993 Israel-PLO agreement marked a courageous effort to resolve the conflict. We know that the Palestinian leadership did not live up to its commitments at many points during the 1993-2000 peace process era. Hundreds of Israelis were killed and wounded as a result of this sincere effort, and in 2000 PLO and Palestinian Authority leader Yasir Arafat rejected the offer of President Bill Clinton and Israel for a two-state solution. Instead, Arafat turned to a violent revolt that often used terrorism and lasted for six years.

We also remember how you responded to President Obama’s requests during his first term, including for a ten-month-long suspension of construction on existing settlements. We know that the Palestinian leadership did not negotiate seriously despite your efforts.

Nevertheless, without illusions and by taking minimal risk, it is worth continuing this effort for peace and cooperation with the United States. Of course, Israel should make no concessions—whether confidence-building or otherwise—without concomitant concessions by the Palestinian side. We will work to make sure that President Obama and the American public understand this point.

Among other things, your leadership would challenge Palestinian leaders to take similarly constructive steps, including, most importantly, a prompt return to the negotiating table. If the Palestinian leaders do not so respond we will be loud and clear in explaining to the U.S. government and American people that while Israel seeks peace, the current Palestinian leadership does not do so.

We believe that either way a flexible policy--which you also followed during President Obama’s first term--would be best. It will show President Obama and the American people Israel’s cooperation and true goal of achieving peace and it will challenge the Palestinian leaders to follow suit or be exposed for rejecting peace.