Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America — the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization — released the following comments upon this morning’s Rose Garden statement by President Bush regarding Mideast peace:
The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America appreciates President Bush’s ongoing commitment to achieving security and peace for the citizens of the Middle East. We welcome the President’s continued call for real Palestinian reform and renunciation of terror. Once again, the onus is upon the Palestinian leadership to end the violence and set the region on a different course. We are confident that concrete steps and results on the part of the Palestinians in this direction will be met in kind by the State of Israel.
While we recognize that the “road map” is intended to be a formula to ensure that only concrete steps by the Palestinians can yield renewed engagement by Israel and the support of the United States, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations has grave concerns with regard to its development and implementation, and we have communicated these concerns to President Bush. Chief among them, is our profound concern over the road map’s “architects.” As we recently wrote to the President:
We are now all too painfully aware…of the willingness of many international parties — including those who comprise the rest of the Quartet — to countenance violations of written agreements in order to avoid confrontation. For the past [several] weeks, we have watched the peace and security of the United States…put at risk by…a [U.N.] Security Council unwilling to declare breaches of agreements where they obviously exist. One must seriously question whether these same parties can or will act any differently when it comes to…the Road Map’s…enforcement.
The UOJCA will continue its efforts in support of a true and lasting Mideast peace in the days to come.