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Reform Movement Applauds Decision to Adjourn Conference of the Fourth Geneva Convention

Saperstein: "Any action outside the context of negotiations, including holding a conference on Israel's policy in the occupied territories, compromises progress in the peace process."

Contact: Jeff Mandell, (202) 387-2800

WASHINGTON, July 14, 1999 - Responding to the news that the Palestinian Authority has decided to urge that the Conference of the Fourth Geneva Convention adjourn after a one-hour opening, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

We welcome the news that the Palestinian Authority has agreed to urge that the Conference of the Fourth Geneva Convention adjourn after a one-hour opening. The Conference, which was to focus on Israeli policy in the occupied territories, was ill-conceived and ill-timed. Any action outside the context of negotiations, especially holding a conference to focus solely on Israel's policy in the occupied territories, compromises progress in the peace process. Congress and the State Department acted appropriately to discourage such action, and we applaud their efforts.

We must continue to foster movement in the peace process, and we are encouraged by the positive messages being advanced by all parties in recent days. We hope that Prime Minister Barak, his newly formed government, President Yasser Arafat, and the Palestinian Authority continue to display a firm commitment to advancing the peace negotiations.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, representing 1.5 million Reform Jews and 1,800 Reform rabbis in 875 congregations throughout North America.



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