The Orthodox Union today applauded passage of the Peace Through Negotiations Act of 2000, H.R. 5272, by the U.S. House of Representatives. This legislation, sponsored by Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Representative Joseph Crowley (D-NY), would terminate U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority if the Palestinians unilaterally declare a state. This legislation also would prohibit the expenditure of any funds to extend recognition to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state and would downgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority in the U.S.
Yassir Arafat’s repeated threats to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state are a grievous violation of the tenets of the Oslo Accords and of the U.S.-Israeli-Palestinian agreement issued at the end of the recent Camp David Summit, which states that no side can take unilateral actions on core issues including statehood. A unilateral act on statehood – one of the most fundamental issues in the Arab-Israeli conflict – would inevitably lead to violence and threaten the viability of the entire peace process. It would also violate the fundamental commitment made by the Palestinians that the determination of the eventual status of the Palestinian entity can only be made through direct negotiations between both parties.
The Orthodox Union praises Representative Nadler and Representative Crowley for their yeoman efforts to pass H.R. 5272, the Peace Through Negotiations Act of 2000. We also thank all the Representatives who co-sponsored and helped pass this important legislation that will help advance the cause of peace and will prevent the possibility of increasing tensions in an already volatile region of the world. A genuine and lasting peace can only come about as a result of direct negotiations conducted in good faith.