NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America is deeply troubled by a report that the Bush administration is pressuring Israel to make more concessions to Yasir Arafats Palestinian Authority.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported (Nov.17, 2003) that the Americans are exerting more pressure on Israel in order to help the new Palestinian Authority prime minister, Ahmed Qurei even though Qurei was hand-picked by Arafat, and the Bush administration has said it will not deal with Arafat because of his continuing sponsorship of terrorism.
The JTA report added: If there is any sign that Abu Ala is serious, we might try to make the Israelis do something to make it worth Abu Alas while, a senior American official told JTA, using Qureis nom de guerre.
The JTA noted that there have been additional recent instances of U.S. pressure on Israel, concerning the Bush administrations attitude towards the Geneva Accord and a related petition drive, both of which call for an Israeli retreat to the pre-1967 borders and the quick establishment of a Palestinian Arab state. Both initiatives were well received in Washington, the JTA reported, with Secretary of State Colin Powell and Deputy Defense Minister Paul Wolfowitz going out of their way to praise themand, by implication, implying that Sharon could do more.
The JTA report added that there has been considerable behind-the-scenes U.S. pressure on Israel. For weeks now, the Americans have been pressing Israel to lift closures of Palestinian areas, transfer Palestinian tax funds and dismantle unauthorized West Bank settlement outposts.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: The Bush administration is tragically ignoring the Palestinian Authoritys refusal to dismantle terrorist groups and halt anti-American and anti-Jewish incitementin fact, the administration is trying to appease the terrorist PA regime. The United States should be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with its allies against the terrorists, not pressuring our allies to make concessions to terrorists.
The ZOA recently initiated a letter, which was signed by 70 Members of Congress, urging President Bush to stop discussing further concessions from Israel and to instead insist that the Palestinian Authority take concrete, decisive action against terrorists.