February 23, 1998
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) commends the Clinton Administration and the State Department for their tireless efforts to advance the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians within the framework of the Oslo Accords. In particular we express our gratitude to President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Special Middle East Negotiator Dennis Ross who, along with many other American officials, have made the achievement of a lasting Israeli/ Palestinian peace agreement a major priority.
The Administration has shown good faith and patience by actively encouraging the Palestinians and Israelis to take a number of steps aimed at building confidence and improving prospects for a comprehensive agreement, while avoiding attempts to impose a solution.
The Administration has consistently emphasized the uniqueness and the importance of the U.S./Israeli relationship and recognized Israel’s fundamental security needs. The American Jewish community believes that these long-standing positions are critically important to the prospects for peace.
We strongly encourage the Administration to continue to:
- make the attainment of a comprehensive and sustainable Israeli/Palestinian peace a top priority, and to use the good offices of the United States to bring the other nations in the region into the peace process;
- infuse the negotiations with creative ideas and active encouragement for steps to be taken by both sides;
- encourage both the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to avoid provocative rhetoric and actions, to engage vigorously in reciprocal confidence building measures, to relate to each other as partners in the urgent quest for peace; and
- maintain the kind of strong, public support for Israel and the peace process that has characterized this Administration’s efforts thus far.
It is through this combination of patience and friendly persistence that peace may ultimately be achieved.