A Visit from the Secretary of State

We were in the news this month when US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Manger Square and met with our president, Abu Mazen (link). While the city was glad to welcome her here behind the Wall, where many American politicians are reluctant to come (Hillary Clinton visited Israel in 2005 and complimented the Wall, but did not venture beyond it), we will wait and see whether her visit is ultimately more significant for her or for us. We look forward to seeing how the conference in Annapolis plays out, and whether any just, genuine progress can be made through good-faith discussion and negotiation. Here in Bethlehem, we have learned that politicians come and go, but we still believe that for those who are truly interested and invested in bringing about a peaceful solution to the conflict in Palestine and Israel, there are people on both sides who are willing to be partners.

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