The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) is deeply dismayed by recent actions of Chairman Yasser Arafat and other Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders that fundamentally violate both the requirements and spirit-of their agreements with Israel. We deplore the decision not to cooperate fully with Israel to prevent terrorist activity in areas under PA jurisdiction and the edict issued by PA leaders imposing the death penalty against Palestinians — including Arab citizens of Israel — who sell land to Jews. Tragically, a number of Palestinians already have been murdered. Palestinian concerns with respect to Israeli policy are appropriately addressed through face-to-face discussions, not by engaging in, supporting or acquiescing in violence.
Notwithstanding these serious difficulties in the peace process, Israel and the Palestinians are seeking ways of returning to active and productive negotiations. We support these efforts because we believe, as they do, that the Oslo Accords and the Hebron Protocol continue to provide the best -available basis for advancing the peace process. The JCPA strongly encourages the Administration to continue its active facilitation of the negotiations and welcomes good-faith efforts by others, including Egypt and Jordan, to bring the parties together.
As members of Congress consider renewal of the Middle East Peace Facilitation Act — which has been an essential instrument in enabling the U.S. to play its central role in facilitating the peace process — we urge them to use this legislation to press for greater PA compliance with its obligations under the Oslo Accords. In addition, we encourage all parties to take steps to renew confidence in their commitment to advancing the peace process.