Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
Where We Stand
Support the Road Map
March 6, 2003
The terrible suicide bombing of a bus full of Haifa young people last week, and the disturbing number of civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip as a result of two weeks of military incursions into refugee camps there to search for Hamas militants, requires us more than ever to speak out for a peaceful resolution of a conflict that has claimed the lives of more than 700 Israelis and almost 2,000 Palestinians.
We applaud President Bush's June 24 commitment to a "viable, credible, Palestinian state." Now more than ever, progress must be made on the road map for a permanent two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so as to allow for some hope for a solution to the current crisis in the Middle East. We urge the President to bring renewed and increased pressure on the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority in order to make that happen.
Recently, a task force of the Council on Foreign Relations, chaired by Henry Siegman, and including former National Security Advisors Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft, along with a list of other distinguished national figures, has issued an open call to the president to take action on the "road map" designed to restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The road map was developed by the United States in concert with the so-called Madrid Quartet, which includes the United Nations, the European Union, and Russia.
The signers of this open letter argue that "there are important national security reasons to spell out without further delay the broad shape of the peace agreement for which the U.S. intends to work."
Brit Tzedek adds its voice to the call emanating from the Round Table of the U.S./Middle East Project of the Council on Foreign Relations. We ask the president "to insist on a 100% PA effort to end violence that is unconditional and independent of actions demanded of Israel" at the same time as insisting on "an equally unconditional cessation of Israeli settlement expansion (including so-called natural growth) that is independent of actions required of Palestinians." This would provide the necessary first step to renewing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and to providing hope for a resolution to the conflict.
A peaceful solution to the crisis in the Middle East is crucial not only to the well-being of the Israelis and the Palestinians, but also ultimately to the United States and the whole world, now more than ever.