ADC Welcomes Bush Call For Ending Israeli Offensive, Endorses Powell Mission

Washington, DC — The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) welcomed today’s statement by President George W. Bush urging Israel to end its military offensive against the Palestinian people and dispatching Secretary of State Colin Powell to the region to oversee a series of steps, including the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1402, aimed at defusing the increasingly dangerous situation.
Emphasizing that “the storms of violence cannot go on,” President Bush asked Israel to halt its military incursion and withdraw from Palestinian areas recently re-invaded by the Israeli armed forces. The President explained that the world expects an immediate and meaningful cease-fire, an immediate resumption of security coordination between the parties, and a crackdown on attacks against civilians. ADC was pleased to note that the President called for an end to the Israeli occupation based on UN Security Council Resolution 242, which is premised on the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war.” President Bush also called for the creation of “a politically and economically viable Palestinian state.”
He called on Israel, “out of concern for its long-term security,” to stop the building of settlements, show a respect for – and concern about – the dignity of the Palestinian people, and ease Israeli roadblocks and border crossings to allow for free movement by the Palestinians. As for the President’s remarks regarding terrorism and suicide bombings, ADC has a long-standing and consistent policy of opposing all forms of politically motivated violence against civilians regardless of the identity of the victims or the perpetrators. ADC notes that over 1,000 unarmed Palestinian civilians, many of them children, have been killed by Israeli troops in the past 18 months.
ADC President Ziad Asali stated that “Since the beginning of the crisis, ADC has called for an end to attacks on civilians of both sides, the implementation of an enforceable cease-fire and a return to the negotiating table in order to bring the occupation to a swift and complete end. We are delighted to see the Administration finally focusing on the fundamental issues.” Asali added, “ADC shares the President’s realization that the violence must stop and the parties must move promptly to implement the Tenet and Mitchell plans in order to bring about a permanent end to Israeli occupation and the establishment of a fully independent and economically viable Palestinian state along side Israel.”

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