WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As the Obama administration worked to relaunch the political peace process between governments, both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recognized the importance of grassroots efforts to build peace between Israelis and Palestinians and strengthen support for the process.
|Obama, Clinton Statements Emphasize Importance of Grassroots Support for Peace|
|news - P2P.newswire|
|Thursday, 02 September 2010 18:53|
President Obama with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas yesterday at the White House.
Photo: White House
During remarks in the Rose Garden yesterday following bilateral meetings with Israeli Prime Minsiter Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Obama noted, "Among the Israeli and Palestinian publics, there is wide support for a two-state solution, the broad outlines of which are well known to both peoples. And even in the midst of discord, ordinary Israelis and Palestinians — faith leaders, civil society groups, doctors, scientists, businessmen, students — find ways to work together every day. Their heroic efforts at the grassroots show that cooperation and progress is possible and should inspire us all."
While the president recognized the important role such grassroots efforts play, he did not specify any particular ways in which the administration might further strengthen such civil society forces. ALLMEP has urged the White House, Congress, and the international community to establish an International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, which would significantly scale up grassroots efforts to build a foundation of peace on the ground and support the process from the bottom up.
On the same theme, this morning, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke "directly to the people of the region" during her remarks opening the renewed direct talks. Her message to the Israeli and Palestinians publics was that "[y]our leaders may be sitting at the negotiating table, but you are the ones who will ultimately decide the future. You hold the future of your families, your communities, your people, this region, in your hands. For the efforts here to succeed, we need your support and your patience. Today, as ever, people have to rally to the cause of peace, and peace needs champions on every street corner and around every kitchen table. I understand very well the disappointments of the past. I share them. But I also know we have it within our power today to move forward into a different kind of future, and we cannot do this without you."