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Activists: Now, yes now, is the time for US to push for MidEast peace

Israeli-Palestinian group OneVoice is bucking conventional wisdom and trying to drum up support in America for another presidential push toward a final agreement.

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A major Israeli-Palestinian activist group is bucking conventional wisdom by arguing that now is the right time to engage Americans in the moribund Middle East peace process.

The presidential campaign season is traditionally a terrible time to make any progress on foreign policy, especially during elections focused on pocketbook issues.

But when the presidential candidates and their parties brought Israeli and Palestinian issues into the spotlight this fall, the group OneVoice decided to seize the opportunity to insert itself into the debate.

Representatives of the group are touring the US this fall, urging American voters to sign a petition asking the presidential candidates to make rebooting the stalled peace process a top priority after Election Day. Their reasoning: The two-state solution cannot be achieved without US help – a solution that they say is running out of time.

"Regional stability lies in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Unfortunately, we are witnessing the rapidly growing distance between the present and peace," reads the petition.

The group's sense of urgency is shared by analysts and former architects of the peace process, even if they don't all share in the optimism that the US can be moved to act soon. 

"Everyone recognizes that you cannot assume the two-state solution will always be a viable option," says David Makovsky, director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy's Project on the Middle East Peace Process. "If you ignore it, you ignore it at your own peril. If it festers, it will breed radicalization."


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