Gillibrand on Israel, Pakistan

In a story in today's Observer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand suggests that she'll play an assertive role in the Senate on Middle East policy, indicating at one point a hypothetical willingness to push a Netanyahu-led Israeli government toward negotiations for a two-state solution.

In a phone interview yesterday, Gillibrand also showed herself to be seriously engaged in foreign affairs issues relating to Pakistan, where she said the jury was still out on whether American drones targeting Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters within Pakistan's borders were productive.

She did suggest that the Pakistani government essentially ceding control of Pakistan's Swat region to the Taliban in exchange for a truce was an untenable situation.

"Long term, they will reach a different resolution," said Ms. Gillibrand. "I think this may be a short-term status. But I think long term it will be different, because long term we are going to have to combat terrorism everywhere and we are going to have to work with the Pakistani government effectively."