U.S. Jews View New Peace Efforts

(JTA) Publicly, most Jewish organizations support the "road map" for Israeli-Palestinian peace that President Bush is promoting in his Middle East travels this week and at his summit with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his new Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas. But privately, there is much skepticism about what will transpire in the coming weeks and months, with fears that Israel will be forced to make too many concessions or that Palestinians will get a state without first cracking down on terrorism. "Everybody is hesitant," said Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. "A lot of people have reservations because they see this as a very risky approach." Hoenlein and others say the 14 reservations about the road map that Israel submitted to the U.S. last month mirror the concerns they have been expressing for months, and there is still strong concern that Arafat retains much of the control of the security system in the West Bank and Gaza.

2003-06-04 00:00:00

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