President Obama announced this week that Israelis and Palestinians have resumed direct final status negotiations, and that Ambassador Martin Indyk is leading the U.S. team assisting the parties.
Martin grew up in Australia, was twice US Ambassador to Israel, and became co-patron with Ronni Kahn of NIF Australia when it was established two years ago.
His appointment as U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, and his acceptance in that role by both the Israelis and the Palestinians, is eloquent testimony to the unique experience and insight that he brings to the very difficult but necessary work of these negotiations, with the goal of achieving two secure states for two peoples.
We do not know the extent to which the renewed peace process will succeed. But we do know that Israel needs our support to live up to its founding values, to be both a democracy and the Jewish homeland.
Polls show repeatedly that the majority of Israelis believe in peace and equality, within Israel and with its neighbours. But recent history shows that progress towards peace also energises extremists on both sides. Within Israel, the opponents of the peace process have already come out fighting against the two-state solution and against democratic principles.
Those of us who genuinely support a negotiated settlement to secure a democratic future for Israel need to redouble our efforts, both inside and outside Israel, to help Israelis advocating for peace and for inclusion and equality in Israeli society.
NIF Australia plays an important part in supporting that work. When we established NIF Australia two years ago, we did so because we believe in NIF as one of the most effective forces backing Israelis who advocate for peace, equality and democracy.
Now is the time for us to back our commitment to equality and democracy for all Israelis.
Speak up within your family, work and community circles to express your views.
Make a donation to NIF Australia, which will help to provide the resources necessary to lead the struggle for a better Israel.
Thank you for everything you do.