In his overview of reactions from various quarters to the recent reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas, both positive and negative (“Shifting Palestinian Alliances,” May 13), Stewart Ain overlooks two important facts that bear positively on this issue. One is that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has affirmed that the PLO will continue to head any negotiation process and is willing to engage in talks calling for two states, based upon already agreed-upon principles. Likewise, any government he heads will adhere to a renunciation of violence and terror as well as recognition of Israel’s right to exist.

While I recognize the potential dangers posed by Hamas’ inclusion in this government, I also realize the opportunities this reconciliation brings.

At the same time, the newly formed Israeli Peace Initiative, which includes prominent business leaders, academics, and 12 of the 18 living former top officials of the Israel Defense forces, Mossad and Shin Bet security agencies, is pressing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to respond to the movement for democracy across the Arab world to renew active diplomatic efforts to reach a two-state solution with the Palestinians

It is equally time for Americans who care about Israel’s future to urge President Barack Obama to engage in vigorous and proactive leadership, by presenting concrete proposals to both parties along long-established parameters. The urgency of the situation demands nothing less.

Communications Co-Chair J Street NYC