Obama reaffirms commitment to necessary peace

President Barack Obama said in an appeal published in the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz that he remains committed to brokering a “necessary” Israeli-Palestinian peace.

“Peace is necessary because it’s the only way to ensure a secure and democratic future for the Jewish state of Israel,” Obama wrote in an article published July 8 and appearing as Israel launched an operation to repel escalating rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

“Reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians would also help turn the tide of international sentiment and sideline violent extremists, further bolstering Israel’s security,” he added.

Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry said after peace talks collapsed in April that it was up to the two sides to renew discussions, but in his Haaretz article Obama made clear he was as committed as ever to brokering an agreement.

“When the political will exists to recommit to serious negotiations, the United States will be there, ready to do our part,” he said.

Obama also paid tribute to the three Israeli teens and one Palestinian teen murdered in recent violence.

“At this dangerous moment, all parties must protect the innocent and act with reasonableness and restraint, not vengeance and retribution,” he wrote. — jta