Washington, DC – Commenting on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington, his meeting with President Trump, and his speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference today, Americans for Peace Now's President and CEO Debra DeLee issued the following statement:
"Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu again missed an opportunity to offer Israelis, Palestinians, Americans, and the world a shred of hope for peace.
"Yet again, the Trump Administration and the Prime Minister of Israel opted for pomp and demagoguery instead of using the spotlights of AIPAC's annual conference to commit to peace. They failed to chart a vision for peace. They failed to even mention the two-state solution. And they failed to create a political horizon for Israelis and their neighbors.
"Israelis and their friends in America deserve better, as do the Palestinians.
"At the AIPAC conference, Netanyahu addressed an immense crowd of 18,000 pro-Israel activists. Instead of telling them what he and his government intend to do to advance peace, he – as usual – chose to lambast the Palestinian leadership and shift the focus to Iran.
"As he faces three criminal investigations and likely indictments, Netanyahu is beholden to extortion from his extreme right-wing coalition members and is failing to show the kind of leadership that Israelis want and deserve. Facing mounting pressure at home, Netanyahu basked in President Trump's embrace and that of AIPAC's hawkish crowd. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration continues to provide Netanyahu with full backing to kill the prospect for a two-state solution, jeopardizing Israel's future as a liberal democracy and a Jewish state and putting America's national security interests in the Middle East at risk.
"As for AIPAC, which reportedly set out this year to woo progressive American Jews: well, good luck with that. Progressive Americans – Jews and non-Jews alike – care about peace, human rights, Palestinian statehood, and Israel's character as a respected member of the family of nations. As long as speakers like Netanyahu, Vice President Pence, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman set the tone at your conference, progressive Americans will seek their pro-Israel home somewhere else."