|ROAD MAP UPDATE
Stand for Israel Capitol Hill Update, April 21, 2003
|As you know, President Bush delivered a historic speech last June 24 outlining his policy for peace in the Middle East. Under
the President's plan, there would eventually be created a democratic Palestinian state, free from corruption and terrorism,
but only after the Palestinians made democratic reforms, replaced Yasser Arafat with truly democratic leadership, destroyed
the terrorist infrastructure and accepted Israel's right to exist.
Since that speech, however, major concerns have developed. A "Quartet" has emerged made up of the United Nations, the Eruopean Union, Russia and the United States. Secretary of State Powell is the lead conductor. Suddenly, the conditions that
the Palestinians were supposed to meet BEFORE a state would be created have been watered down. Israel is being pressured to act before there is clear evidence that the Palestinian terrorist network has been dismantled.
The President's instincts on this issue are sound. I trust his judgment and his principled stand against terrorism. But we are
clearly in for rough waters ahead as the post-Iraqi Freedom peace process moves forward. This week, Prime Minister Sharon
sent two top Israeli officials to Washington to meet with State Department and White House counterparts, including National Security advisor Condaleeza Rice. Our contacts tell us that Russia, the U.N. and the E.U. continue to pressure the Bush Administration to prematurely force the creation of a Palestinian state.
I am in Israel this week and I can report to you there is deep worry and concern here. There were more terrorist attacks here in
the last few days, killing three people. The streets in Palestinian neighborhoods have been full of hateful demonstrations against America and Israel. Mosques and schools in the region continue to teach that Israel an America are "Satan" and that Israel has
no right to exist. Some of the most vicious fighters allied forces had to deal with in Iraq were "imported" Palestinians who
rushed at the chance to kill our sons and daughters and to defend the financial support their terrorist friends received from Saddam's regime.
We must encourage the Bush administration to stand firm in the principles that the President articulated in his June 24 speech
in the Rose Garden. It is a reasonable balanced blueprint for peace. We must not allow the EU, the U.N., Russia and others to pressure the Bush administration to retreat from those principles. To do so would be a road map that would lead not to peace,
but to further violence and terror.