UAHC The Union of American Hebrew Congregations The Synagogue Arm of the Reform Movement
Statement by Rabbi Eric Yoffie, UAHC President in response to remarks by President Clinton & Secretary of State Albright August 6, 1997
Today's remarks by President Clinton and Secretary of State Albright provide a much needed blueprint for both understanding and reinvigorating the Middle East peace process. Secretary Albright correctly identifies the "crisis of confidence" which has disrupted the peace process and now threatens progress previously made through long and difficult negotiations. We welcome the efforts of the Clinton Administration to offer its assistance to the process by sending Ambassador Ross to the region and laying the groundwork for a visit by Secretary Albright later this month. American leadership is critical in restoring faith among Israelis and Palestinians as well as providing encouragement for the parties to press ahead on the arduous, but all important, road toward peace.
We share the Clinton Administration's belief that the path of peace taken by Israelis and Palestinians cannot be reversed. As partners for peace, the Israeli government and Palestinian Authority have, indeed, committed themselves to facing their differences head-on and utlimately making the difficult decisions which are necessary for the cessation of violence and the establishment of true peace among neighbors in the region. Security concerns, however, cannot and should not be ignored. The PA and Chairman Arafat must do all in their power to address legitimate Israeli security concerns. The Palestinian and Israeli authorities, with the active support of the United States, must work together to combat those responsible for acts of terror, those who most clearly pose a threat to peace in the Middle East.