Washington, DC – Americans for Peace Now (APN) strongly condemns today’s terrorist attacks in Tel Aviv and the West Bank. Coming in the context of the extremely volatile situation in Jerusalem and this past weekend’s controversial killing of a Palestinian citizen of Israel by Israeli police, these attacks signal a potentially dangerous expansion and escalation of tensions and violence.
For the sake of Israelis – both Jewish and Palestinian – and for Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, a further descent into violence and conflict must be prevented. This escalating crisis – between Israel and the Palestinians and within Israeli society itself – once again sends a resounding message to Israelis and Palestinians, and their respective leaders: allowing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to fester, while occupation deepens and all hope for a political horizon via a negotiated solution are destroyed, will only result in more pain and suffering for Israelis and Palestinians alike.
As we did last week, following the latest terrorist attack in East Jerusalem, Americans for Peace Now urges Israelis and Palestinians to take a step back from the brink in order to prevent further escalation. Rather than exploiting tragedy to score political points, thereby stoking the flames of anger and retribution, Israeli and Palestinian leaders have a responsibility to curb incendiary, provocative rhetoric and instead work to calm the crisis and prevent further escalation. Doing so cannot be achieved simply through immediate action to ratchet down the current crisis – a crisis that is part-and-parcel of the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As history has demonstrated, over and over again, that broader conflict cannot be “managed.” It must be resolved. Today it is vital that both sides – backed by strong leadership and active diplomacy from the Obama Administration and support from the international community – commit themselves in earnest to a negotiated resolution of the conflict in the near term.
Absent urgent action to restore calm and re-establish a political horizon to end this conflict, the expansion and escalation of tensions and violence, on both sides of the Green Line, is as inevitable as it will be tragic.