Statement: APN Welcomes Negev Summit; Calls on Participants to Use it to Advance Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts

Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes the historic Negev summit, which brought together the foreign ministers of the United States, Israel, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco, but we are disappointed and concerned to not see more of an effort by the summit participants to leverage their enhanced collaboration toward advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Iran poses a threat to the region. Regional efforts to confront it, bolstered by the United States, are very important. So is cooperation between Israel and its regional partners on other matters. But Israel's government, the Biden administration, and their regional allies, must prioritize the need for addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Summit participants have spoken about the need to pave the way to a two-state solution to the conflict. Significantly, Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned in his comments Washington's continued support for the creation of a Palestinian state side by side with Israel, and about the need to stop actions that escalate the conflict, such as settlement expansion, settler violence, incitement to violence, demolitions, payments to individuals convicted of terrorism, and evictions of families from homes they've lived in for decades.

Americans for Peace Now's President and CEO Hadar Susskind said: "I'm glad to see that Secretary Blinken raised the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and discussed US support for peace. But words are not enough. We need to see action. The improving relations between Israel and an increasing number of Arab states must be used as an opportunity to prioritize diplomatic efforts to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace. We call on all stakeholders, including participants in today's summit, to use every opportunity to push toward peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors."