Tuesday March 26, 2013

I and many other Americans welcome our president back home after a four-day successful bridge rebuilding whirlwind trip to Israel and Jordan.

Employing outstanding telephone diplomacy, President Obama was instrumental in helping Turkey and Israel re-establish diplomatic relations. President Obama received standing ovations from hundreds of Israeli college students when he unequivocally and strongly stressed the eternal friendship and mutual support of Israel and our United States.

President Obama recognizes the threat to the survival of Israel and world peace, of Iran building atom bombs, and stated "All options are on the table" (implying a U.S. military option, as a last resort) in a meeting with Abu Mazen, leader of the Palestine Authority, in Ramallah. President Obama stressed the importance of Palestinians negotiating with Israelis to achieve a "two-state solution, for two peoples, living side by side, with peace and security."

Our new secretary of state, John Kerry, is now in the Middle East to pursue the goals of President Obama. When a new young Palestinian leadership arises and can accept that Jerusalem will remain the undivided capital of Israel and some Jewish communities on the West Bank can be part of the new Arab state of Palestine, then the two-state solution will become a reality.

MARTIN SILVER

Lenox