ADL, AIPAC endorse Annapolis

Two major pro-Israel groups endorsed U.S.-convened Israeli-Palestinian peace talks as promising.

“The upcoming Middle East peace meeting in Annapolis could become a launching pad for substantive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations leading to a breakthrough between the two parties,” Howard Kohr, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s executive director, said in an op-ed distributed this week to Jewish media. The talks, to which over 40 nations have been invited, begin Monday in Washington and move to Annapolis, Md. on Tuesday.

Kohr conditioned his optimism on financial and political support for the process by Arab nations.

“Arab leaders should also attend the upcoming Annapolis meeting and provide Abbas with the political backing he will need to fight terrorism and make the tough compromises necessary to reach an agreement with Israel,” he wrote. “To facilitate Arab-Israeli peace efforts, the Arab states must also begin to prepare their own people by recognizing Israel’s right to exist, ending their economic boycott of the Jewish state and supporting peace.”

The Anti-Defamation League’s national director, Abraham Foxman, said Israel could rely on the Bush administration’s established record of good will not to push the Jewish state into a corner.

“Despite the anxiety surrounding Annapolis, I have confidence that the administration will pursue a course that will take into account the need for progress, but in such a manner as not to jeopardize Israel’s vital interests nor to present Israel’s stance in a negative light,” Foxman said in another op-ed delivered to Jewish media.

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