Tahrir Square, July 3, 2013

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The U.S. should seek to organize an international donor conference including high-level representatives of governments, business and international financial institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to devise a new Marshall Plan of multilateral economic assistance, loans and trade credits that would benefit Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon if and when peace and security agreements are reached.

It is time for the world community, with American leadership and broad participation, to create a historic "peace dividend" that would incentivize all parties to reach agreements and make it clear to all peoples that a new peace and security are better than endless war, carnage, poverty and death. 

I will have more to say about Egypt when the dust settles in the near future. I will say that like many around the world I was inspired and moved and supported the young people, women and others who stood at Tahrir Square demanding the end of the Mubarak regime.

And like many people around the world, and many people in Egypt, I was saddened by the way the first attempt turned out and am inspired that the young people, women and others are back again risking their lives to build the Egypt they believe in.

My favorite founding fathers were Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, who believed that the great cause was a universal cause. For those who believe that it will be hard to resolve the issues between Israel and Palestinians, and hard to bring true conciliation from Cairo to Damascus today, they are of course correct. 

But Nelson Mandela spent decades imprisoned by a government practicing the racist scourge of apartheid before achieving for South Africa what George Washington achieved for America. I stand with the young people, women and others who journeyed again this week to Tahrir Square. They stand for the ideal that good and brave people can make life better for their nation, and we should stand with them now as we honor Mandela today.