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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
Letter to the Editor: Peace Process Must Move On
By Stan Fleischman
Paul Sassieni’s “Time for a deep breath” (Jan. 11) rightly points out numerous roadblocks on the road to peace. After seven years of inaction and missteps on both sides – despite Sassieni’s insistence that Israel is wholly blameless, and Israel’s neighbors wholly at fault – it’s easy to be skeptical. Therefore, I applaud President Bush for re-launching the peace process at Annapolis, and for his recent visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
To achieve the goal supported by most American Jews of a two-state solution – a secure Israel alongside an economically-viable Palestinian state – Bush must exercise his role of “monitoring and judging the fulfillment of commitments” of both sides under the Road Map. Bush must push Olmert to freeze settlement construction – including in East Jerusalem – and improve life for Palestinians by increasing movement and access in the West Bank, while insisting that Palestinians improve their security infrastructure and bring about a cessation of rockets fired into Israel. Finally, he should urge Israel and Hamas to pursue a ceasefire.
It is tempting to throw up one’s hands in desperation. But, as Psalm 34:14 implores, it is incumbent on us all to “seek peace and pursue it.”