Thursday, May 26, 2005


Republicans tell Arab leaders - US supports Israel

Monday, May 23, 2005
At the World Economic Forum conference in Jordan on Saturday, Republican members of the U.S. Congressional delegation were very direct in letting Arab leaders know that the U.S. support of Israel is unwavering.
According to press reports, Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) said the peace process aimed at bringing about an independent Palestinian state is unlikely to win serious backing from the Bush administration without a demonstration of commitment from both sides.

"Until we have someone on the other side who is willing to say 'Yes,' we're not going to continue to prostitute the American presidency to people who aren't serious," said Smith. "It's a mystery to me why Arab countries can't work on their own countries before Palestine is fixed," he added.

"Obviously one of the greatest commitments that we have is to the Jewish people and the state of Israel, to try and manage the difficult process of the peace there and securing that nation, and doing so in a way that, if possible, is just to the Palestinians," Smith told a panel that included Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, top officials from Jordan, the Palestinian territories, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as academics from Iran and Turkey.

Asked why the United States was willing to anger Arab countries in favor of Israel, another Congressman, Rep. Christopher Shays, said simply that America is not a neutral player in the Middle East.

"We are Israel's strong ally," Shays, Republican of Connecticut, said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It would be foolish for people to think that somehow we are neutral."

Compiled from reports filed by the Associated Press and the Jerusalem Post.

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