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The Terror Atrocities and the Resignation of Mahmoud Abbas
Last uploaded : Monday 8th Sep 2003 at 20:05
Contributed by : Our Editors/Lewis Roth


We wrote the editorial below before the ghastly terror attacks in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Not that one life has more value than any other, but the loss of Dr David Appelbaum, head of ER at Shaare Zedek Hospital and his bride-to-be daughter Nava, is a searing wound. They had gone out together to celebrate the wedding she was to celebrate today.

The following statement by Americans for Peace Now reflects our own views:

September 10, 2003

CONTACT: Lewis Roth
(202) 728-1893

APN Condemns Bombings, Calls on Qureia to Start His Government with
Terror Crackdown

Washington, D.C.?Americans for Peace Now (APN) today condemned the two
terrorist suicide bombings that took place yesterday in Israel and
called on Ahmed Qureia?who today accepted the post of Palestinian Prime
Minister?to begin his term in office with meaningful steps to crack down
on Palestinian terrorist organizations. APN?s mission is to enhance
Israel?s security through peace and to support the Israeli Peace Now

?APN condemns the two horrible terrorist attacks that were carried out
yesterday in Israel,? said Debra DeLee, President and CEO of Americans
for Peace Now. ?We extend our condolences to the families and friends
who lost loved ones in these criminal incidents, and we pray for speedy
recoveries of those who were injured.

?Ahmed Qureia today accepted the post of Palestinian prime minister and
announced that his top priority will be strengthening and unifying the
eight branches of the Palestinian security services. Americans for
Peace Now believes that even revamped Palestinian security forces are of
little use unless they are directed to begin a sustained crackdown on
terrorist organizations. We call on Prime Minister Qureia to take those
meaningful steps that are within his ability to perform against
militants in his society, such as arrests of terrorists, the demolition
of rocket factories, and moves against weapons smuggling operations.

?At the same time, we call on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to act
responsibly. He must try to bring an end to violence and restore
stability in the region. Repeated assassination attempts against
Palestinian political figures, even those who espouse the heinous views
of Hamas, would appear to inflame, rather than calm, the situation.

?Finally, it is imperative for President George Bush to demonstrate that
he has the staying power necessary to pursue U.S. diplomatic interests
in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Now is the time for him to
redouble his efforts and push both sides away from further violence.?

Lewis Roth
Assistant Executive Director
Americans for Peace Now
1101 14th Street, N.W. Sixth Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 728-1893
Fax (202) 728-1895
For background please read:

by Carol Gould
The resignation of Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas is a regrettable event within a series of tragedies in the Middle East and Gulf. The resignation coincided with a visit by American Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to the Gulf; it would have been useful if an American envoy could have visited Israel and the Palestinian leadership whilst Rumsfeld was in Iraq and neighbouring states.

But what is the solution? When Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres were ploughing ahead with the Oslo process under the leaderhsip of Bill Clinton, Warren Christopher, Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk, the Israeli peace delegation and Arab leaders of the region suicide bombs and attacks on Israeli soldiers were proliferating with frightening regularity. Hence criticism of the relatively 'hands off' approach by the Bush Administraiton seems empty at this stage.

Who would have thought, amongst those of us who were in Israel when its economy was booming and nations were lining up to open consulates, that a few years later the cycle of house demolitions, targetted killings and endless terror would dominate life in Israel?

Jewish Comment agrees with the message delivered below, most particualrly the final segment.

September 8, 2003
by Lewis Roth

Washington, D.C.?Americans for Peace Now (APN) today called on the U.S. and Israeli governments to give Palestinian Prime Minister-designate
Ahmed Qureia a chance to succeed in his new position in order to strengthen the forces of moderation in Palestinian society and reduce
violence directed against Israel. APN?s mission is to enhance Israel?s security through peace and to support the Israeli Peace Now movement.

?No thoughtful friend of Israel can take comfort from this weekend?s developments in the occupied territories,? said Debra DeLee, President
and CEO of Americans for Peace Now. ?We hope that President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon will absorb the lessons of the demise of Abu
Mazen?s government in order to create a political environment in which Ahmed Qureia has a chance to succeed.

?Yasir Arafat certainly played a major part in Abu Mazen?s decision to resign. His political maneuverings frustrated Abu Mazen?s ability to
function with authority.

?But no Palestinian Prime Minister?whether it?s Abu Mazen, Abu Ala, or anyone else?will be able to build an independent political base in favor
of moderation without significant, tangible results to show the Palestinian people. Unless Ahmed Queria can deliver the goods in terms
of easing the living conditions for people in the occupied territories, ending the confiscation and destruction of Palestinian property, and stopping assassinations (to name but a few things), he will be no more effective than Abu Mazen.

?If President Bush truly wants to strengthen Israeli security, he must provide stronger encouragement to Prime Minister Sharon to start making positive gestures to the Palestinians, firmly tell him to avoid counter-productive measures, and commitment the U.S. to more serious, ongoing diplomatic efforts in the region. At the same time, President Bush must remind Ahmed Qureia that no Palestinian Prime Minister will succeed in establishing a Palestinian state without a sustained effort
to uproot terrorism.?

Lewis Roth
Assistant Executive Director
Americans for Peace Now

Fax (202) 728-1895

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