The National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council (NJCRAC) continues to strongly support the peace process and Prime Minister Rabin’s bold efforts to achieve security for the Israeli people and normalized relations with Israel’s neighbors. Since September 1993’s historic signing, much progress has ensued. We applaud Israel’s recent accomplishments in the peace process, particularly agreements with the PLO on self-government in Gaza and Jericho and early empowerment in the rest of the territories, and the signing of an accord ending the state of war with Jordan followed by concrete bilateral and regional development initiatives.


We welcome the establishment by Israel of official relations with Morocco and Tunisia, and the announcement by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that its six member states will be ending the secondary and tertiary boycott against Israel. We urge these countries expeditiously to establish full diplomatic and economic relations with Israel. Another important step toward normalization is the forthcoming Casablanca Conference which will bring together Israel, most of the Arab world and the major industrialized nations in an effort to stimulate economic growth in the Middle East. The NJCRAC also appreciates the constructive role Egyptian leaders have been playing in this process. These are important contributions to the goal of establishing a lasting and comprehensive peace between Israel and its neighbors.


In some areas, however, additional efforts are necessary. Realizing the goal of peace, which depends in large measure on the success of the Palestinian Authority during the transitional period, will require more effective measures by the PLO to curb terrorism and to develop the kind of economic institutions that will give confidence to an international community committed to Palestinian development. It also is imperative that the PLO fulfill all of its commitments, including holding democratic elections in Gaza and the West Bank as soon as possible and rescinding sections of the organization’s covenant calling for Israel’s elimination. We hope that recent signs of movement in the Israel-Syria talks will lead to a breakthrough on that critical negotiating track as well. In all of these efforts, we applaud the continuing commitment of the Clinton Administration to facilitate progress in the peace process.


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