With the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948, the hopes and dreams of two millennia have been realized. Yet, the Arab-Israeli conflict and unrelenting terrorism have been a constant during those years. Only Jordan and Egypt have formal peace treaties with Israel. The rise of Palestinian nationalism has pushed the issue of co-existence to the forefront of any peace discussions.
In addition, demographic realities indicate that in a short time, the Arab population could likely overwhelm the Jewish majority in Israel by its sheer numbers.
It is time that dreams of “Greater Israel” be merged with the realities of Palestinian nationalism.
Therefore, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism urges:
Israel decided to negotiate with the PLO despite its violent past, because it judged that the PLO was the only Palestinian partner willing to take a step toward peace and with enough credibility to win the support of the Palestinians in the territories.
Several factors influenced this decision. One was the PLO’s willingness to make significant changes, including recognizing Israel and renouncing violence in order to enter into the peace process. Another key factor was the growing influence of Hamas and other anti-peace Islamic extremist groups.
Israel and the PLO signed two agreements which have the potential to transform the Middle East. Despite the change in the environment, many obstacles and tough negotiations lie ahead.
In the Mutual Recognition Agreement signed on September 9, 1993, Israel recognizes the PLO and the PLO both recognizes Israel and renounces terrorism. The PLO also nullifies those parts of its charter calling for Israel’s destruction and calls for an end to the Intifada.
The Declaration of Principles, which was signed on September 13, 1993, lays out a basic framework for the phased transfer of self-governing authority to Palestinians as envisioned in the Camp David Accords.
Security is the overriding concern of Israel in the negotiations over the implementation of the Declaration of Principles. Although the Israel Defense Forces will eventually withdraw from Arab population centers as part of the agreement, it will remain in Jewish settlements and in areas critical to security.
Israeli police forces and the IDF will be responsible for Israelis living in the territories.
Should there be any breach of the agreement by the PLO, Israel retains the option to redeploy the IDF as necessary, to ensure the security of the state and its citizens.
The U.S. can help ensure that the PLO complies with its commitment to renounce terror and violence by adopting a policy which provides benefits to a peaceful PLO and sanctions for any return to terror.
Women’s League for Conservative Judaism encourages Congress to continue the following steps in re-examining U.S. policy toward the PLO:
The PLO remains a terrorist organization which to date has failed to rescind its national covenant which calls for Israel’s destruction. It has also failed to establish its status and credibility, which are essential to becoming a party to the peace negotiations. While some Palestinians have made public pronouncements regarding initiation of a peace process with Israel, those moderates who have come forward do so at risk to their lives by PLO extremists.
Women’s League for Conservative Judaism urges that:
Palestine Liberation Organization (1982)
The PLO is a terrorist organization committed to the destruction of Israel. It is allied with terrorist elements in other parts of the world as diverse as Germany, Italy, Ireland and Japan. There is much evidence that Palestinian Arabs have been inhibited from participating in autonomy negotiations by assassinations and threats of assassination by the PLO.
Today, the PLO is an assemblage of disparate armed terrorist groups, many of them Marxist, all aligned with the Soviet Union. They are bound together by commitment to the PLO National Covenant, an instrument of negation and destruction. This Covenant denies Jewish people hood, the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations Palestinian mandate, while extolling liberation of all Palestine through violent revolutionary means. The goal of the PLO is not simply the “liberation” of Nablus, Hebron and Gaza, as it would have the West believe, but Jaffa, Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as well.
Women’s League for Conservative Judaism urges its sisterhoods to work towards increasing awareness of the goals of the PLO to the community and governmental leadership at all levels by:
Women’s League for Conservative Judaism in Convention assembled, protests the unprecedented and irresponsible decision which permitted the terrorist leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to address the General Assembly of the United Nations in violation of the principles of the United Nations Charter.
Furthermore, Women’s League voices its horror at the obsequious deference accorded the representative of the PLO. We protest the support shown by members of the General Assembly for the exponents of violence and murder in their desire to destroy Israel, a member state of the United Nations.
We commend the United States delegation to the United Nations for opposing recognition of the PLO at the General Assembly and urge the President of the United States and the Congress to follow a policy of continued aid to Israel in this alarming situation.
We also urge all Branches, Sisterhoods and individuals to communicate these views to President Gerald Ford, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Ambassador to the United Nations John Scali and their respective Congressmen and Senators.