The National Jewish Democratic Council today applauded Jon Huntsman's service to the Obama Administration despite his perplexing policy changes on the issues that matter to most American Jews. Upon former Ambassador Huntsman's announcement to enter the presidential race, NJDC CEO and President David A. Harris said:
I applaud former Ambassador Huntsman's decision to enter the race despite his flagrant policy shifts on the President's economic recovery efforts, health care reform legislation, and proven cap-and-trade policies. I am puzzled as to why Huntsman would abandon his positions that have served him so well in his political career in favor of courting the extreme right-wing factions of the Republican Party as so many of his fellow Republican contenders have.
In 2009, Huntsman told Politico that the President's successful stimulus package "didn't necessarily hit the mark in terms of size" and should have totaled "about a trillion dollars." Just two days ago, President Obama's former advisor David Axelrod said that Huntsman's decision to call the President's economic policy "failed" is "in conflict with what he communicated to us in 2009."
In 2005, nearly six years ago to the day, President George W. Bush stood next to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and asserted that the 1949 Armistice Lines should serve as the basis for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
In his comments, President Bush said,
"Any final status agreement must be reached between the two parties, and changes to the 1949 Armistice Lines must be mutually agreed to. A viable two-state solution must ensure contiguity on the West Bank, and a state of scattered territories will not work. There must also be meaningful linkages between the West Bank and Gaza. This is the position of the United States today; it will be the position of the United States at the time of final status negotiations."
-- by National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) Chair Marc R. Stanley and President and CEO David A. Harris
The power sharing agreement between Hamas and Fatah represents a turning point in the current dynamics of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. We know President Barack Obama and his Administration will monitor this situation exceptionally closely and act decisively, helping Israel to mitigate any potential dangers to its future security this apparent new reality could cause.
That said, we are hopeful that President Obama will show continuing strong leadership; that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not see this as a reason to be deterred from presenting bold steps towards a lasting peace; and that this reported accord will put pressure on the most extreme elements of Palestinian society to lay down their weapons and end this generation's old conflict. As part of this, Hamas must renounce violence, abide by past agreements and recognize Israel's right to exist.
One thing is clear; the status quo is not sustainable for any party involved. The only path away from the status quo leads towards two states.
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