As leaders in the American
Jewish community, we write to express our conviction that a
negotiated, two-state solution is still ultimately the only path
to reaching a complete end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Only negotiated borders will be respected by all parties and
lead to security and a lasting peace.
We applaud Israeli
withdrawals from West Bank territories, which will facilitate
the creation of a viable Palestinian state, but firmly believe
that negotiations should occur before even provisional borders
can be set. Unilateral initiatives that lessen or preclude the
possibility of a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel will
not lead to the end of the conflict and will be detrimental to
both Israelis and Palestinians.
groundwork for negotiations now.
Do not permit
Hamas to stand in the way of diplomatic
The Israeli election results signaled that Israelis are
ready for an end to the occupation and the conflict. Yet, recent
polls have shown that three-quarters of Israelis prefer that
disengagements from the West Bank be negotiated, rather than
President Abbas has repeatedly expressed
his willingness to negotiate. Indeed, the
Hamas led Palestinian legislature must agree to renounce
terrorism and recognize the State of Israel, but Hamas adopting
these positions should not be preconditions that prevent Israel
from entering into negotiations with President Abbas. They must be outcomes of
Prime Minister Olmert:
You have expressed willingness to meet with President Abbas, and
he with you. This is an opening.
President Bush: The
United States should do everything possible to strengthen the
standing of President Abbas and Palestinian moderates
internationally and with the Palestinian people. Specifically,
the U.S. should pursue a proactive policy of diplomatic
engagement with President Mahmoud Abbas and other moderate
Palestinian political figures, via both public diplomacy and
Mr. President and Mr. Prime
Minister: Unilateral actions can threaten the
possibility of negotiations and could lead to the resumption of
violence such as we have seen from Gaza since the disengagement.
Don't let the cycle of violence resume. It is time for a genuine
peace process that will result in two stable governments,
internationally recognized borders, and neighboring societies at
peace with one another.
Rabbi Elliot Dorff
Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer
Rabbi John Friedman
Rabbi Mordechai Liebling
Hon. Abner J. Mikva
Rabbi Jack Stern
Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Rabbi Arnold Jacob