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The strong words from the U.S. on IsraelWords are only words, but words often matter if they are the first step toward action, especially when uttered by a global power. This is the case with a striking statement by the United States government Wednesday afternoon on Israeli actions in occupied Palestinian lands.The statement – and it is just a statement to date, not a new policy decision or a presidential executive order – was made by John Kirby, the U.S. State Department assistant secretary and spokesperson. It is noteworthy for its unusually sharp, specific tone in criticizing multiple Israeli state policies that the U.S. opposes. A strong global coalition that emphatically seeks the best interests and legitimate rights of both Israelis and Palestinians, and is anchored in the rule-of-law provisions of the U.N., now seems to be the only option for moving ahead with a diplomatic initiative that results in a viable two-state solution and an end of the conflict. The strong, clear words in this latest U.S. statement should be the first steps toward such action that would serve the best interests of the entire world.
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