Washington, D.C. - Americans for Peace Now (APN) today warmly welcomed the Senate's confirmation of Senator John Kerry as the next Secretary of State. APN praised Kerry's strong track record as a foreign policy leader and reiterated its call for President Obama to re-engage urgently and resolutely to save the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
APN President and CEO DeLee noted: "Senator Kerry is a superb choice to lead President Obama's foreign policy in his second term in office, and we commend the Senate for acting quickly to confirm him. Secretary of State Kerry has long demonstrated extraordinary courage and leadership in the foreign policy arena. His deep understanding of the complex foreign policy challenges facing the United States in the Middle East and around the world, and his profound appreciation of and respect for the vital role that U.S. diplomacy must play in addressing these challenges, make him eminently qualified for the position. Secretary Kerry's well-established relationships with world leaders, combined with the respect he commands both in the American domestic political arena and around the world, will strengthen his hand as he leads the State Department's efforts to support and promote U.S. national security interests around the globe.
DeLee added: "Kerry takes the helm of the State Department at a time of tremendous turmoil in the Middle East. He and President Obama do not have the luxury of time, but must act immediately to address a number of serious crises, including a crisis on the Israeli-Palestinian front that demands urgent attention. The stalemate in negotiations, poisonous political trends, and concrete developments on the ground have combined to put the very viability of the two-state solution in question. As we noted in our letter to President Obama in the context of his recent inauguration, absent decisive action by his administration in the short-term, there is a very real chance that the two-state solution will be lost. Lost along with it will be the hopes for a peaceful, secure future for Israelis and Palestinians alike and the viability of Israel as a Jewish state and a democracy. Vital U.S. national security interests, in the region and beyond, will be endangered.
DeLee concluded: "This is the challenge that confronts President Obama and Secretary Kerry today. It is a reality that cannot be ignored or avoided, and the situation cannot be 'managed' until such time as circumstances for U.S. engagement appear more auspicious. We again urge President Obama to act resolutely and courageously at the outset of his second term. We urge him to directly address the people of Israel, together with Secretary Kerry, to lay out his vision for a future Israel that enjoys peace and security, backing this vision with concrete actions and policies, and leveraging engagement by our allies in the region and friends of Israel around the world."
APN's letter to President Obama is available here.