Saperstein: The progress suggested by yesterday's events is a vitally needed repudiation of the efforts of terrorists who, through the recent spate of violence against Israel, sought to undermine diplomatic efforts.
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WASHINGTON, May 23, 2003 - Today Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, applauded Israel's tentative endorsement of the road map. Rabbi Saperstein responded to the developments with the following statement:
I am heartened by the tentative agreement reached by President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon. The progress suggested by yesterday's events is a vitally needed repudiation of the efforts of terrorists who, through the recent spate of violence against Israel, sought to undermine diplomatic efforts.
While yesterday's events are significant, there remains much work to be done. In particular, we will look to the Palestinian leadership to take concrete steps to eliminate the infrastructure that supports terrorist activity.
We know that both sides will be required to make considerable concessions and that both sides will be required to make difficult decisions. We must hold fast to our belief that these compromises will result in a lasting peace agreement.
Although ultimately it will be upon the Israelis and Palestinians to arrive at an agreement, sustained American engagement in this process is essential. President Bush must persist in his efforts to bring the Israeli and Palestinian leadership back to the negotiating table and facilitate an accord. His personal involvement in the peace process is an important and welcome development, as is the potential of a Presidential visit to the region.
We look forward to renewed negotiations and an end to the tragic violence of the last three years.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC) , whose over 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews , and the Central Conference of American Rabbis(CCAR) whose membership includes over 1800 Reform rabbis .