President's Strong Support for Israeli Disengagement Plan Welcomed
New York, NY, April 14, 2004 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed President George W. Bush's strong support for the Israeli government plan to disengage from the Gaza Strip and areas of the West Bank, calling it "a historic step in the long relationship between the two countries."
Barbara B. Balser, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement following the President's joint White House news conference with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon:
We welcome President Bush's strong statement of support for Israel's disengagement plan, and his reiteration of the U.S. commitment to the security of the State of Israel and its existence as a Jewish State. The President's verbal statements, as well as his written commitment to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, is a historic step in the long relationship between the two countries and provides an important opportunity to move the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the right direction.
The President outlined a bold yet realistic scenario for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which includes an Israeli military disengagement and the removal of settlements from the Gaza Strip and areas of the West Bank, along with serious Palestinian steps to end their war of terrorism.
President Bush has spelled out what the Israeli, Palestinian and American facilitators have long understood -- that in a final Israeli-Palestinian settlement, Palestinian refugees will go to the new independent Palestinian state, and not to Israel, and that given realities on the ground, any negotiated borders will likely not be along the 1949 armistice lines. The President's declaration of these principles provide the Government of Prime Minister Sharon with the support and confidence necessary to undertake this bold and historic disengagement plan.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.