Bush’s Position That Road Map Is “Non-Negotiable” Contradicts His Pledge Not To Impose Solution On Israel
March 20, 2003

NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has expressed its strong disappointment at the Bush administration’s statement that the “Road Map” plan is “non-negotiable” a position that clearly contradicts President Bush’s previous pledge that he would not impose a solution on Israel.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said on March 19, 2003: “The document will be released as the road map; that is the road map, and that will be the road map.” The Washington Post (March 20, 2003) added: “A State Department official said, ‘We don’t want to leave the impression that Israel has veto power and can renegotiate the road map on their own terms.’”

Similarly, National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice said on March 14, 2003 that “this is not a matter of renegotiation of the road map.” (Washington Post, March 20, 2003)

Yet during the 2000 election campaign, then-candidate George W. Bush pledged that he would never impose a solution on Israel. Speaking at the annual AIPAC Policy Conference in May 2000, Bush said: “In recent times, Washington has tried to make Israel conform to its own plans and timetables, but this is not the path to peace.” (Associated Press, May 22, 2000)

Similarly, in August 2000, Condoleeza Rice, who was then Bush’s top foreign policy adviser, said in a speech at Tel Aviv University “that Bush believes the U.S. cannot force its foreign policy on other states and that it is up to Israel ‘to determine what risks it takes’ to reach peace.” (Jerusalem Post, August 15, 2000)

After meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the White House on March 20, 2001, Bush told reporters, “I told him that our nation will not try to force peace.” And at the 2001 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, Secretary of State Colin Powell said: “We will propose solutions, we will not impose solutions.”

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein commented: “President Bush should stick to his pledge not to impose a solution on Israel—especially when that ‘solution’ is the creation of a Palestinian Arab state that would be a terrorist state. At a time when America is trying to rid the world of the menace of Saddam Hussein, the last thing we need is to create a mini-Iraq along Israel’s indefensible nine-miles-wide pre-1967 border.”

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