To return to the new Peace Now website click here.

Help proximity talks succeed

There is good news in the quest for peace for Israel: Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, mediated by Senator George Mitchell, have begun.

These talks are sure to face many obstacles, including the risk that either side will take steps outside of the negotiations that telegraph bad faith. Israel's announcement two months ago that it planned to expand a settlement in East Jerusalem is a clear example of such an action.

There is news on that front, too.

On Sunday, the State Department released a statement noting that Israel committed not to build at that site for two years. It also welcomes a Palestinian commitment to fight incitement.

Even more importantly, the State Department statement shows that President Barack Obama intends to hold both parties' feet to the fire:

"If either takes significant actions during the proximity talks that we judge would seriously undermine trust, we will respond to hold them accountable and ensure that negotiations continue," the statement read.

This is key. APN's activists have been working for months to convince President Obama to step up the pressure on all sides. Now he is promising to do so.

Join this effort. Click here to ask Obama to follow through. Both sides must be accountable.

Some in Washington would like Obama to refrain from calling out the parties when they frustrate peace efforts. Last month, AIPAC pressured Obama to avoid public criticism of Israel.

We need your help to counter these forces. Our message to the president is simple: Sweeping disagreements under the rug won't help Israel make peace.

Peace talks will never succeed without genuine, sustained American leadership. Obama must be willing to confront Israel or the Palestinians when they undermine progress towards peace.

Take action now. Click here to tell Obama to follow through on his commitment.

Your activism is necessary to make sure that America's influence is leveraged to promote peace. The time to push for peace is now.

Along these same lines, APN's leaders just sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking her to keep the administration focused on preventing provocations, especially in East Jerusalem. Click here to read that letter.