Commending Kerry

Commending Kerry

Secretary of State John Kerry has spent a great deal of time since taking office earlier this year trying to bring the Palestinians and Israelis back to the peace table.

He should be commended for that and for his approach. As he said repeatedly in recent days, in reaching agreement on final borders, the Palestinian side must acknowledge that Israel has genuine security concerns and must be allowed to adjust its borders to meet those concerns. This includes acceptance by the Palestinians of what Kerry calls “the facts on the ground,” a diplomatic way of saying that the Palestinians must accept that some Israeli settlements in the territories will become a part of Israel proper.

For sure, Kerry talks about the June 1967 borders as the starting point for talks, as does President Barack Obama. Starting point, however, does not mean end point.

We salute the secretary even as we have reservations about some aspects of his proposals. He has given both sides two weeks to officially respond. May they both use the time to consider those proposals carefully.