Three members of the MPT Fall Team recently arrived in the West Bank. Shortly after our arrival we had an encounter, in his home, with a tall, articulate Palestinian who was educated in the U. S., and spoke excellent English. After the customary round of strong coffee and some pleasant talk about his family (he has five children), the conversation turned to the political problems in this region.
Sadat (not his real name) spoke of the Quartet: the US, the EU, the UN and Russia. He said no solution for Palestine/Israel was possible without the strong support of all of them, but particularly of the US. He stated that under Obama’s leadership something could happen, but he feared the American President would be “too busy” with domestic affairs.
Israel’s recent decision to build 455 new houses in West Bank settlements was very disturbing to him. It was his opinion that, unless something was done within the next two years, the West Bank would be divided in two by settlements and that a two-state solution would be impossible. He saw hope if the American public strongly supports the initiative to stop further settlements and urges the President to take strong leadership within the Quartet to achieve a just solution for Palestine and Israel.