Knesset two-state lobby asks for meeting with Kerry

Caucus for Ending Israeli-Arab Conflict urges US Secretary of State to continue efforts to bring Netanyahu, Abbas to negotiating table.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
June 6, 2013 18:01
2 minute read.
John Kerry addresses the media

John kerry open arms 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

US Secretary of State John Kerry received an invitation from the Knesset Caucus for Ending the Israeli-Arab Conflict Thursday to meet with the 37 MKs in the caucus when he comes to Israel next week.

The caucus’s chairman, MK Hilik Bar (Labor), received confirmation from Kerry’s associates that the letter had been received and the invitation considered. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s advisers were also told of the invitation from the caucus, which was formed two weeks ago.

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“I am writing to thank you for your efforts to help Israel reach a two-state solution to the conflict with our Palestinian neighbors,” Bar wrote Kerry. “I could not agree with you more about the urgency of this moment with respect to reaching an agreement. We agree with your remarks that you made at the American Jewish Committee that cynicism has never solved anything and that there exists no other solution than the twostate solution.

“You asked the audience there to seize the moment and make the most out of it; we here in the Knesset aim to do just that.”

Bar said he agreed with Kerry’s call for the American Jewish community to make its support for the two-state solution vocal. He said it was important for American Jews to make their voices heard in Israel.

The Labor Party, which has emphasized socioeconomic issues since MK Shelly Yacimovich became head of the party, has tried recently to become more vocal on the diplomatic issue. The party organized a special Knesset session on the Arab Peace Initiative Wednesday to which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was compelled to come.

Bar urged Kerry to continue his efforts to bring Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the negotiating table.



“Your leadership, Mr. Secretary, is critical to our success in pursuing peace, and therefore it is ultimately critical to our survival,” Bar wrote.

“The chances of us realizing an agreement absent American leadership is slim. We need your help in creating the framework for reaching a solution, articulating the horizon of what it will look like and offering bridging proposals when the process gets stuck.

“You were an incredible friend to Israel throughout your tenure in the US Senate.

But your greatest demonstration of friendship comes now as you summon the strength and resolve to lead us out of this intractable conflict.”


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