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The Likud Referendum and the Terror Attack..
Last uploaded : Tuesday 4th May 2004 at 14:53
Contributed by : Americans for Peace Now


Washington, D.C.-Americans for Peace Now (APN) today bemoaned the recent Likud Party vote against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon?s disengagement plan, which calls for the evacuation of Israeli settlers from all of the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. APN is a Jewish, Zionist organization dedicated to enhancing Israel?s security through peace and to supporting the Israeli Peace Now movement.

?Prime Minister Sharon must put party politics aside and respond to Israel?s greater interests by pushing his disengagement plan through the government,? said Debra DeLee, President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now. ?In raising his proposal, Prime Minister Sharon and his supporters have helped educate Israelis about the security, economic, and demographic price that the Jewish state is paying to maintain settlements in the occupied territories. Polls show that 58% of all Israelis support the disengagement plan. It?s unfortunate that the Likud Party has been taken over by extremists in the settlement movement and other far-right wing elements. But the nation of Israel should not also be held hostage to the whims of these fanatics, who do not reflect the feelings of the Israeli people as a whole. Further, Likud voters constitute just 4% of the Israeli electorate, and only 52% of them bothered to vote. This small minority must not be allowed to determine national policy.

?If done right, the disengagement plan could be the first step towards greater settlement evacuation, renewed Palestinian interest in fighting terrorism, and the resumption of bilateral peace negotiations. President George Bush can make a positive contribution by bringing Palestinian moderates back into the diplomatic process and by holding Israel accountable for its commitments to remove settlement outposts, freeze settlement growth, and provide Palestinians with greater freedom of movement. President Bush should also re-think the positions that he has staked out on final status issues in order to restore credibility to the United States as a trusted intermediary between the two sides.

?Americans for Peace Now also is appalled at the horrible Palestinian terrorist attack that took the lives of a pregnant Israeli woman and her four children yesterday. There is no justification for such an attack against settlers, which constitutes a crime against humanity. Palestinian terrorism is helping to protract the conflict and makes the possibility of a negotiated agreement more remote.?
Americans for Peace Now
National Office
Washington, D.C.
(202) 728-1893

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