NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is deeply concerned by the latest report that the Bush administration is pressuring Israel to make even more concessions to the Palestinian Arabs.
The Israeli daily Ha’aretz (Aug.5, 2004) reports that the Bush administration feels frustration and bitterness because the Israeli government has not moved more quickly to dismantle the handful of outposts on uninhabited land in Judea and Samaria. The administration is considering sending Prime Minister Ariel Sharon a letter detailing the commitments he made to the United States and did not keep.
The article quoted State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher said after an August 4 meeting between Israeli and U.S. officials that we continue to pressure them [Israel] to live up to their commitments as defined in the road map.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: It is incredible that the administration remains silent while the Palestinian Authority ignores its obligations to arrest and disarm terrorists. The obstacle to peace is the PA’s terrorist behavior, not these scattered outposts on empty land.
The report follows an article in the Jerusalem Post (Aug. 3, 2004), regarding the arrival in Israel of Bush envoy Elliot Abrams, which stated: The White House emissary is expected to pressure Israel to comply with US demands that Jerusalem takes serious steps to evacuate illegal outposts, to improve the humanitarian conditions of the Palestinians and removing checkpoints in the West Bank.
The ZOA points out:
* The Palestinian Arabs are engaged in widespread illegal construction in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, yet the U.S. is silent about it. For the U.S. to focus on a handful of tiny Israeli outposts on empty land that are harming nobody, smacks of a double standard.
* Israel has no obligation to take any more steps or any more concessions so long as the Palestinian Authority continues to refuse to fulfill its obligations. No government in the world is obliged to keep its side of the agreement if the other party refuses to do so. The U.S. should not ask Israel to do anything further until the PA keeps its obligations in the Oslo accords and the Bush Road Map, including arresting terrorists, outlawing terrorist groups, confiscating their tens of thousands of weapons, shutting down their training camps, stopping payments to terrorists’ families, and stopping glorification of terrorists in the PA-controlled media, schools, summer camps, and mosques.
* Israel is an ally of the U.S.; the U.S. should not be pressuring its allies. It should be pressuring the PA, which is openly hostile to America and violates every one of the commitments it made to Israel and the United States.