Time for a Change

I think the only time I’ve ever mentioned Roger Cohen on this site was to complain about something, but today’s piece about why it’s time for “an end to uncritical American support of Israel, a real push to persuade Olmert to engage with Abbas, enough boldness to reach beyond the details to a vision of what is needed to bring a Palestinian state into being.” A minor emendation would be that Cohen says “the Democrats who now control Capitol Hill have shown little inclination to debate a related subject, Israel and Palestine, where a shift in American policy at a time of fluidity could make an important difference.” The truth is in some ways better and in other ways worse. The House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Middle East Subcommittee is having a hearing today on the “Next Steps in Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process.” The trouble is that the subcommittee’s arranged for the roster of witnesses to be former AIPACer Martin Indyk, David Makovsky from WINEP, and Daniel Pipes.

On the other hand, as Daniel Levy points out there are some positive developments as well that people could lend their support to:

Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) has introduced House Resolution 143 urging the President to appoint a Special Envoy for Middle East Peace. H. Res. 143 has already attracted a number of co-sponsors, including Jewish members and Congress’ only Muslim member. (Co-sponsors include Blumenauer (D-OR), Ellison (D-MN), Klein (D-FL), McCollum (D-MN), Schiff (D-CA)). H. Res. 143 includes a lot of sensible language such as “it is directly in the national interest of the US to reengage both sides…a lasting peace…will reduce tension in the region…help repair America’s image in the international community…and help reduce Iranian influence in the region” (Read the full resolution here and for the APN campaign see here).

That would be good.