Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
Where We Stand
Ramifications of the April 14th Sharon-Bush Agreements
May 3, 2004
Significant portions of the Israeli and Palestinian political elites and public have demonstrated their support for the Geneva Accord and for the People's Voice Initiative petition campaign authored by Ami Ayalon and Sari Nusseibeh. Both call for a negotiated two-state settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the current atmosphere, it would make sense for the leadership on both sides to take this opportunity to re-engage in the Road Map process. Instead, the situation is deteriorating.
Both the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority have descended into rhetoric of unilateral action outside the Road Map. Moreover, the actions of both parties are counterproductive to moving in the direction of peace. Despite an encouraging decline in terrorist attacks over the past year, such attacks are still a very real danger on a daily basis to the safety and psychological well-being of the citizens of Israel, and we are concerned that the Palestinian Authority has failed to rein in the terrorist organizations. We are also concerned about the direction the Israeli government is taking. The recent incursions of the Israeli army into Nablus, where it held the inhabitants for 12 days of virtually uninterrupted curfew, left 18 dead, over 250 wounded, and large numbers of homes demolished. The pace of construction of the so-called Separation Fence/Wall on confiscated territory outside of the 1967 borders of Israel -- already cutting off 15% of West Bank lands from the rest of the West Bank -- has increased.
A peaceful resolution is still possible if the Road Map is revived. As American Jews, we have a responsibility to call on the U.S. government to do its part. Therefore, we ask you to contact President Bush and Secretary of State Powell, requesting them to pressure Prime Minister Sharon and Prime Minister Qureia to reverse the current course by immediately re-engaging in the Road Map process by:
- Holding their first face-to-face meeting without any further delay;
- Reconvening the mechanism for security coordination to end violence; and
- Easing the mobility restrictions Israel has placed on residents of the West Bank and immediately halting construction of the separation fence/wall beyond Israel's Green Line borders.