American Congressman Robert Wexler, a prominent political ally of President Obama, urged the Israel government to place a freeze on West Bank settlements, arguing to do so would send a message that Israel is ready to compromise. “A request for a moratorium or freeze in settlement activity that can be mutually agreed upon by the US and Israel in the next several weeks is a tiny, tiny gesture and down payment to make when you look at potentially what is on other side of the equation.” Wexler pointed out if the Israel willingness to compromise on an important issue did not meet with reciprocal gestures by President Abbas, Israel comes out on top as the nation seeking peace. In a sense, Congressman Wexler urged Israel to call the bluff of Palestinians regarding their interest in peace.
Hopefully, Prime Minister Netanyhu will listen carefully to sound advice. A few months of no housing in the West Bank is not a terrible price to pay to discover the seriousness of Palestinian leaders. Wexler also pointed out the Israel media has rarely reported what Obama is demanding of Arab nations such as direct economic links with Israel, cultural and educational exchanges and over-fly rights for Israel airlines.
Now is the time for Israel to demonstrate it is willing to go the extra mile in the quest for peace. That will achieve greater results than invading Gaza.