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Monday, June 07, 2004

B.S. Alert

"The road map is the best hope for peace and we have really gotten sidetracked"

This kind of statement drives me right up the wall. We haven't gotten sidetracked!

The Palestinians have simply, again, signed an agreement and not kept their word, not fulfilled their obligations, not taken responsibility. But that's not how the "National Interreligious Leadership Initiative" people see it:
WASHINGTON, June 1 (JTA): Leaders of three Jewish religious denominations say they appreciate President Bush’s solid support for Israel but also want the United States to broker a peace accord.

The leaders of the Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative movements joined Christian and Muslim counterparts Tuesday in urging Secretary of State Colin Powell to increase U.S. engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and to name a new envoy. Orthodox Jews were not represented at the meeting with Powell.

The meeting was a reminder, just two weeks after Bush was feted at an American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference, that strong support for Israel is not enough for many Jews. They want U.S. engagement in the process, too.

The group, the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative, wants the Bush administration to work within the “road map” peace plan, which was crafted by the United States with its “Quartet” partners — the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.

“The road map is the best hope for peace and we have really gotten sidetracked,” Rabbi Paul Menitoff, executive vice president of the Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis, said at a news conference after the meeting.

The road map remains the official policy of the Bush administration on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it has been all but abandoned, and peacemaking has been stalled.

In April, Bush declared support for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to unilaterally withdraw from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. There has been little U.S. communication with the Palestinian Authority leadership since Mahmoud Abbas resigned as P.A. prime minister last year, and U.S. officials remain skeptical of current Palestinian leaders.

Despite their call for progress on the road map, the Jewish denominational leaders said they support Israel’s plans for disengagement from the Palestinians. This approach complements the pro-Israel lobbyists who welcome Bush’s unabashed support for the Jewish state, they said.

“If the United States is perceived as being one-sided, the opportunity to bring the parties together will not be available as an option,” Rabbi Jerome Epstein, executive vice president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, told JTA.

Rabbi Amy Small, president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, said in an interview that she believed the road map was never given a full chance to succeed, and that an envoy was needed to hold the parties accountable.

“If there is an envoy on the ground, working with the parties, we can have progress,” she said.

The State Department said Powell was receptive to the group’s ideas. He agreed with the need for an envoy but suggested that now was not the right time.

The road map has been "all but abandoned"? The road map was never given "a full chance to succeed"? What is needed is an envoy and an "opportunity to bring the parties together"? What planet are these people on?

What is needed is for these people to actually read the Performance-Based Roadmap, and themselves hold the Arabs accountable. Who needs a special envoy for that? The whole world could do it! These Jews and others, the United Nations, the "Quartet" governments, all of us . . .
April 30, 2003
A Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Phase I: Ending Terror And Violence
, Normalizing Palestinian Life, and Building Palestinian Institutions -- Present to May 2003

. . . At the outset of Phase I:

Palestinian leadership issues unequivocal statement reiterating Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to end armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere. All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.

It seems these Jews and their Christian and Muslim buddies are afraid to even reiterate the call for simple cessation of Palestinian terrorist attacks -- yet they have no problem calling for the expulsion of Jews from Gaza in exchange for nothing. WHY IS THAT?

Please note that, fourth among "Twelve Urgent Steps for Peace" this group advocated six months ago was the idea to
"support benchmark ideas for possible peace agreements from earlier negotiations and civil society initiatives such as the Geneva Accord.."

I don't see this "interreligious leadership initiative" as leading us to anything but appeasement and dhimmitude. Thanks, but no thanks.