Seventy-seven out of 100 US senators last week signed a letter to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice strongly urging greater pressure on "friendly Arab states" to publicly recognize Israel's right to exist and curb anti-Semitism in their own countries.
Nearly every Middle East Arab state has made recognition of Israel's right to exist in the region dependent on a full Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, Judea (including the eastern half of Jerusalem) and Samaria.
But the senators insist that such preconditions are counterproductive to regional peace efforts, and that if the Arab states are not persuaded to change their tone soon, an upcoming US-hosted peace summit is doomed to fail just like every other one before it.
"As you step up American diplomatic actions and prepare for a future international meeting on the Arab-Israeli conflict, we believe it is essential that other key players in the Middle East also step up and meet their responsibilities," the senators wrote to Ms. Rice. "The success of such a meeting, and ultimately the peace process itself, will depend on the cooperation we receive from the larger Arab world, particularly from those Arab states with close relations with the United States who have not yet signed agreements with Israel."
As part of their meaningful cooperation, the Arab states must "stop support for terrorist groups and cease all anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement," and they must "recognize Israel's right to exist and not use such recognition as a bargaining chip for future Israeli concessions."
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