On The Historical Significance of Annapolis

Nov 26, 2007 Published under Middle East, Mideast Negotiations, OneVoice Movement

· This is the first time in over 15 years where the vast majority of Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, are participating in a regional effort to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; not since the Madrid peace process launched by President Bush Sr. have all these countries gathered together to address the issue; over 40 countries are being represented in Annapolis.

· This is the first time in 7 years that the Israeli and Palestinian Heads of State (or more specifically the Israeli Administration and the PLO Executive Committee) are hopefully re-launching formal steady and systematic negotiations

· The Israeli and Palestinian Heads of State are not alone this time:

     o Their people elected each of them with a broad mandate on a clear campaign platform for conflict resolution

     o Leaders of the region and the world are now by their side urging they take advantage of the Arab Peace Initiative and the Roadmap and make progress at once

     o Over 620,000 citizens have joined the OneVoice Mandate supporting the process, the largest number in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and representative of the overwhelming majorities (59% to 84% according to different polls over the last two years) who support negotiations to establish a two state solution

· Rare Window of Opportunity: the window is closing – while majorities on both sides still overwhelmingly support negotiations towards a two state solution, the numbers opposing are going up steadily, and will eventually surpass moderate voices if no tangible progress is made; we have two leaders and two peoples and the Arab region and the US government now recommitting themselves; the opportunity must be seized.  Failure is not an option.

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