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Reform Jewish Leader Applauds President Bush's Meeting with President Abbas; Urges Renewed Involvement in Peace Talks

Saperstein: As we approach the start of Rosh Hashanah and the holy month of Ramadan, we pray that this week’s meetings herald a new year of peace for the people of Israel and throughout the region.

Contact: Elissa Froman or Rachel Slomovitz
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

WASHINGTON DC | September 20, 2006 – In response to today’s meeting between President Bush and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

We are hopeful that today’s meeting between President Bush and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is a signal of a renewed U.S. engagement in the peace process. Such a peace process must be based on recognition of Israel’s right to exist and affirm previous agreements between Israelis and Palestinians. American leadership is essential to any effort to achieve a long-term, viable peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians. We also commend President Bush for emphasizing with President Abbas the importance of the safe return of captured soldier Gilad Shalit.

Of course, the primary architects of any peace agreement must be the Israelis and Palestinians themselves. Today’s presidential meeting follows Monday’s meeting between Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and President Abbas, the first such talks between high ranking Israeli and Palestinian officials in four months and a similarly positive development. As we approach the start of Rosh Hashanah and the holy month of Ramadan, we pray that this week’s meetings herald a new year of peace for the people of Israel and throughout the region.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the
Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis



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