REFORM JEWISH MOVEMENT WELCOMES RELEASE OF MIDDLE EAST ROAD MAP
Contact: Emily Grotta, 212-650-4221
(New York, NY, April 30, 2003) -- In response to today's release of the road map to the Israelis and Palestinians, Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, issued the following statement:
"Thank you, Mr. President, for your initiative today. I am grateful for your commitment to work for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Now more than ever, Israelis and Palestinians need a framework for bringing an end to the conflict that has left far too many dead on both sides. The road map is the only vehicle currently available to achieve these ends, and I hope that you and your administration will continue to take the lead in working for its implementation.
"The time has come to put an end to this violence and to bring about a final agreement in which Israelis and Palestinians can live in two states, side-by-side, in peace and security. We know from the history of the conflict that American engagement is essential if a secure and enduring peace is to be negotiated. Your action today gives us reason to be hopeful that such a settlement might be within reach.
"Peace cannot be achieved in the region while Palestinian terrorists are allowed to run free and hatred of Israel and Jews is taught to young children. Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas must commit his government fully and completely to ensuring the end of terror and violence against Israelis. At the same time, we know, as Prime Minister Sharon himself has said, that Israel too will be required to make painful compromises to achieve peace, including on matters of territories and settlements."