Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and Egypt Dan Kurtzer is convinced that Middle East peacemaking is ‘in Obama’s guts.’ His new book aims to show the president how to move forward in “Pathways to Peace – America and the Arab-Israeli Conflict”. (Reviewed by Chemi Shalev in Haaretz –

If you read only one book on the Middle East this year, let this one be it. It has been sent to the Obama Administration and members of Congress.

The only reasonable conclusion to draw after reading this book is that the time is now to enter into final status negotiations between Israel and Palestine and that only strong American pressure will bring this about.

Essays are written by American, Israeli and Palestinian experts. All of them are compelling and enlightening. For me, as part of the pro-Israel pro-peace progressive Zionist community, the essays written by Palestinians are among the most enlightening because the Palestinian narrative is quite different from the Israel narrative.

The book argues effectively that the past cannot be prologue to the future. What is important now is what happens going forward. Playing the blame game for past failures at peace negotiations will doom future talks and a successful two-state solution, which is in the best interests of Israel, the Palestinians, the United States, Europe, and all moderate Arab countries. The alternative to a two-state solution is endless war, bloodshed and despair. What will be lost as well will be the Zionist dream of creating a Jewish democratic state in our national home after 2000 years of exile.

Ambassador Daniel Kurzter has done a significant service in the cause of  peace. Kol hakavod to him!