|AMERICAN CHRISTIAN LEADERS WARN PRESIDENT BUSH ON
ROAD MAP; THE PRESIDENT SAYS HE WILL "PUSH FORWARD"
Jerusalem Post, May 20, 2003
|Twenty-two American Christian conservative leaders signed a letter sent to President Bush on Monday protesting the road map
for Middle East peace saying in its current form it "could lead to disaster." "You and the United States are being undermined by
the other members of the so-called 'Quartet' - the European Union, the United Nations and Russia. You and the United States are being pressured to show we are 'evenhanded' and are being urged to pressure Israel to make concessions," the letter says. "It would be morally reprehensible for the United States to be 'evenhanded' between democratic Israel, a reliable friend and ally that shares our values, and the terrorist infested Palestinian infrastructure that refuses to accept the right of Israel to exist at all," the letter adds. The letter cited celebrations in Palestinian neighborhoods after the September 11 attacks and similar "displays of glee" after every terrorist attack in Israel.
President Bush said yesterday that he would press forward with the "road map" for Middle East peace despite a recent wave of Palestinian suicide attacks on Israel. "We're still on the road to peace - it's just going to be a bumpy road, and I'm not going to
get off the road until we reach the vision" of two states living side by side in peace by 2005, Mr. Bush said hours after the latest suicide bombing, in the northern Israeli city of Afula. (Washington Times, 5/20/03.)
The signers - among Bush's most significant political supporters - urged the president to keep in mind a series of principles while pursuing peace, including that "Israel has a right to defend itself when attacked and should not be pressured by the United States, the United Nations or anyone else to be passive in the face of attacks on its citizens.
Gary Bauer, President of American Values and a former Republican presidential candidate, organized the letter. "This weekend's wave of terrorist bombings in Israel should cause a fundamental reevaluation of why we are pushing for the creation of a Palestinian state when thugs are still in control of the Palestinian Authority," Bauer said in a statement.
The Christian signers included: Reverend Jerry Falwell; Reverend John Hagee, a prominent evangelical pastor in Texsas;
Elwood McQuaid, editor-in-chief of Friends of Israel; Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation;
Janet Parshall, the nationally syndicated talk-show host; and Michael Little, president of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Chairman of American Friends for a Safe Israel, Herbert Zweibon, who is Jewish, also signed the letter.