Ned Lamont's Statement on Israel
Ned Lamont has issued a statement on the Israel-Lebanon conflict. He affirms his support for Israel and criticizes the Bush Administration for its ineffectiveness which he in large part ties to the war in Iraq.
At this critical time in the Middle East, I believe that when Israel's security is threatened, the United States must unambiguously stand with our ally to be sure that it is safe and secure. On this principle, Americans are united.
....Unlike previous administrations - Republican and Democratic - President Bush has embraced the wrong priorities in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ...Let's be clear that Bush emphasized Iraq at the expense of an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, and we are reaping the consequences. Just think what the situation could have been if the United States had invested its power, prestige, and resources in a peace settlement. Instead we chose a failed war and stand virtually alone, paying a heavy price for a profoundly failed set of decisions.
Lamont Policy: Change Priorities and Pursue a Peace Settlement
All Americans want the kidnapped soldiers to be returned and this cycle of violence to end, based on the principles of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559 of 2004, which calls for Hezbollah militias to be disbanded and disarmed, with the government of Lebanon taking full control of all of its territory. It is not for the United States to dictate to Israel how it defends itself. Nor is it my place to make tactical recommendations to the president. But I do have some strategic suggestions about what our country should do moving forward.
After the fighting stops, the President needs to reengage in this part of the world and work on a peace settlement and a response to the humanitarian concerns in Gaza and elsewhere. We should not seek to impose a resolution on Israel. But peace between Israel and its neighbors must be a priority.
Without negotiating with terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, President Bush and the Secretary of State ought to be working on a peace settlement with Israel, the Palestinians and others who might help. The outlines of a peace agreement are there; both sides agree: land for recognition, peace and security.
Other Presidents have made progress in this difficult region. There's no reason why this President should not reverse course and become engaged for peace.
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