In our opinion: US should recommit to Israel-Palestinian peace process

Mark Lennihan, Associated Press

In this Dec. 22, 2017, file photo, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks in favor of a resolution at United Nations headquarters.

After the Trump administration’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, many foreign allies have been questioning the United States’ commitment to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Now is the time for the administration to affirm its allegiance to facilitating peace talks between both the Knesset and the Palestinian Authority.

Keeping a campaign promise, President Donald Trump made a controversial decision to move the U.S. Embassy earlier this month. The decision was widely rebuked by former State Department officials who believed this decision upended decades of carefully crafted foreign policy. It was also criticized by key U.S. allies. Calling the move “irresponsible” and “dangerous” is to be expected by a nation whose foreign policy is openly anti-Israel, but even the highly conservative British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson expressed concern with the move. Despite international rebuke, U.S. leaders have long talked about the idea of moving the embassy from Tel Aviv. Then-candidate Bill Clinton, in the 1992 campaign, expressed strong support for recognizing Israel’s capital as Jerusalem.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has declared that the U.S. will go forward with the move. It is now up to both Haley and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to assure the international community — including U.S. allies — that the administration remains committed to the peace process.

Before Trump announced his decision, Tillerson said, “We continue to believe there is a very good opportunity for peace to be achieved.” He added, “The president is very committed to the Middle East peace process. … He has a team he put into place. That team has been working very diligently.”

Action is now needed to support this rhetoric.

Tillerson and Haley should put forward a clear proposal for how they plan to revive peace talks — and what will be done about the long-standing contention over the status of Jerusalem. This issue has been the central dispute — often called…

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