A coalition of top U.S. Jewish, Muslim and Christian clerics pressed Condoleezza Rice on peace.
In a letter faxed Nov. 1 to the U.S. secretary of state by the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East, the clerics urged Rice to press Israelis and Palestinians to take measures to ensure the success of her peace initiative. “In relation to improving conditions on the ground to restore hopes for peace among Palestinians and Israelis, we believe important steps include working for an end to all violent attacks and counter attacks by achieving a comprehensive cease-fire, pressing the Palestinian Authority to confiscate illegal weapons and disband militias, and pressing Israel to freeze expansion of settlements and ease movement for Palestinians in the West Bank by reducing the number of military checkpoints,” said the clerics’ letter. “We believe the United States can and should press harder for these and other steps in the lead-up and immediate follow-up to the Annapolis conference.” Rice is convening an Israeli-Palestinian peace conference in the Maryland capital in coming weeks. Jewish signatories included top Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist officials.
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