In remarks at a Brookings Institution conference, Panetta called on Israel to again start negotiations with the Palestinians. “Just get to the damn table. Just get to the table,” Panetta said during the event in Washington. “The problem right now is we can’t get them to the damn table to at least sit down and begin to discuss their differences.”
Israel is becoming increasingly isolated from the region, according to Panetta.
It’s not enough, he said, for Israel to rely on a strong military for security, diplomacy is also needed.
“Unfortunately, over the past year, we have seen Israel’s isolation from its traditional security partners in the region grow, and the pursuit of a comprehensive Middle East peace has effectively been put on hold,” Panetta said.