Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Jewish Voices for Peace on Abbas Victory 1-11-05

Jewish Voices for Peace
Contact: Mitchell Plitnick, cell: 510-484-6472, office 510-465-1777
Cecilie Surasky, cell: 510-410-4202

Palestinian presidential election: Bush has chance to win hearts and minds of Palestinians
Israel and the US must respect democratically elected president,and not isolate Abbas like they did Arafat

(San Francisco, January 10, 2005) Jewish Voice for Peace congratulates the Palestinian people on their first presidential elections since 1996. We hope that the newly elected president, Mahmoud Abbas, will prove capable of defending the rights of his people, building their government and making a just and lasting peace with Israel. The attitude the US takes toward Abbas will determine whether or not there can be any progress toward a resolution of the fiery Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Bush Administration must end its refusal to deal with the duly elected leader of the Palestinian people, as both the US and Israel did with Yasir Arafat. Claiming Arafat was not a "partner for peace", they ignored the fact that the Palestinian people elected him and supported him until his dying day. This conveyed to Palestinians the impression that for all the American talk about democracy, Palestinian democracy was not to be respected.Abbas is prepared to make real concessions. But neither he nor any Palestinian leader can accept less than what are widely recognized by the international community as legitimate claims of the Palestinian people.Therefore, Jewish Voice for Peace calls on the US government to make it clear that their good friend and ally, Israel, must start a program for removing West Bank settlements as well as those in Gaza; that the future Palestinian state is entitled to all of the land of the West Bank, with provisions for even exchanges of land that are mutually agreeable, where appropriate; that they must allow a Palestinian state to have its capitol in East Jerusalem; and that Israel must remove the wall it is building in the West Bank. This is an opportunity for the Bush Administration to radically alter its image among the Palestinians by showing real and lasting respect for Palestinian democracy, and by pressuring its ally Israel to engage in fair and substantive peace negotiations.
About Jewish Voice for PeaceFounded in 1996, Jewish Voice for Peace is a national grassroots peace organization dedicated to promoting a US foreign policy in the Middle East based on peace, democracy, human rights and respect for international law. With some 10,000 supporters and members, JVP’s board of Jewish American and Israeli advisors includes Pulitzer and Tony award winner Tony Kushner, actor Ed Asner, poet Adrienne Rich as well as other respected rabbis, artists, scholars and activists.
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JVP in the news, recent articles:From churches, a challenge to Israeli policies, Christian Science Monitor
Rights Group Targets Bulldozer Company, The Forwardhttp://ga3.org/ct/I7ahtRd1rm_T/
Divestment Debate Continues with Resolution Against Caterpillar Inc., The Christian Post

US Churches Take Stand Against Israeli Occupation, Arab Newshttp://ga3.org/ct/W7ahtRd1rm_P/
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