America will not give up on the prospect of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations during the final two years of President Barack Obama’s term, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said during a speech at Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies on Tuesday.
“The main reason we remain committed to achieving a two-state solution is that we see no alternative that would achieve Israelis’ and Palestinians’ legitimate goals,” Shapiro said. He said the Obama administration is “committed to keeping that hope alive” despite the results of the recent midterm elections, in which Republicans took control of the U.S. Senate from the Democrats and increased their majority in the House of Representatives.
“Israelis follow American politics closely, whether during midterm or presidential elections,” Shapiro said. “Since our midterms last month, much ink has been spilled about what the results mean for the next two years. Here is a caution, lest anyone jump to conclusions: divided government, in which one party controls Congress and the other the Executive Branch, does not necessarily mean foreign policy gridlock.”
U.S.-brokered peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians collapsed earlier this year after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party signed a unity agreement with the Gaza-based terrorist group Hamas.