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US Must Act to Enforce its Demands that Israel Halt Attacks

Washington, DC — American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) today repeated its call on the Bush Administration to act immediately to enforce UN Security Council resolutions and US demands that Israel end its assault on the Palestinian people in the occupied West Bank. ADC has been warning that this wholesale attack on the entire Palestinian population and its institutions would not bring security to Israelis but instead would fuel a cycle of vengeance and escalate the conflict. ADC condemned today’s bombing of an Israeli bus in Haifa, and reiterated its long-standing policy of opposition to any attacks against civilians, no matter who the victims or perpetrators may be. ADC notes, however, that this bombing once again shows that Israel will not be able to achieve security, let alone peace, by rampaging through occupied territories, killing hundreds of Palestinians, attacking churches and hospitals, and destroying all the institutions of Palestinian society.
ADC President Ziad Asali said “Prime Minister Sharon promises the Israeli people security through brute force. Today’s events show that he cannot and will not succeed, because there is no military solution to this conflict. This is not a military problem which can be solved by a military solution. It is a political problem that will only respond to a political solution. Those people who cast themselves as ‘friends of Israel’ and are encouraging Sharon’s self-defeating strategy of trying to beat the Palestinians into submission are doing no favors to the Israeli people. They are recklessly and irresponsibly fanning the flames of a fire that is burning out of control and consuming hundreds of Israeli and thousands of Palestinian lives.”
“Secretary Powell seems to understand this,” Dr. Asali continued, “since he warned yesterday in Cairo that the Israeli offensive would not produce an end to the conflict, or even stop suicide bomb attacks against Israelis. There is, of course, only one solution to this appalling carnage, and that is to create a fully independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. Palestinians have suffered far too long from the most cruel and brutal occupation in recent history, and they will accept nothing less than freedom. Israelis want to live in peace and with security. The solution is obvious and within reach, but given the ever-deteriorating cycle of violence in which the two parties are locked, a robust and courageous third party intervention is required. It is up to the United States to play the role it has assigned itself, and which no other party could play, and act forcefully to bring the parties to the table without preconditions to negotiate a swift and complete end to the occupation. We welcome Secretary Powell’s mission to the region, but for it to have any chance of success the Administration must act now to enforce its own demands that Israel halt its attacks on the Palestinian people and withdraw from the re-invaded areas.”