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September 3, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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September 3, 2004
 

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SEPTEMBER 3, 2004 PAGE 3K Bosch N (JTA)-- are Some of President is- U.S. Jews, speeches, his and statements as md a glossy pare- last month Bush's record as of the American ritybarrier: )ly criti- security barrier in year, objections once to modify the the barrier to lessen on Palestinians. dropped plans to at the In- Court of Justice after the Bush made clear Oppose the ICJ's in the matter :oin Israel in the fence at the ICJ ultimately de- the barrier into the West Bank g erected should be a security political barrier, temporary rather and there- prejudice any final ISSues including final ,and its route should consistent ;, its impact not engaged activities" (letter terAriel Ap,il D Strip ithd: ,~ h enthusiastically Israeli Prime Min- Sharon's plan to from the Gaza as the best hope for the U.S.-led "road )lan. Welcome the disen- plan you have red, under which withdraw cer- installations settlements from and withdraw certain installations and described in the real progress my June 24, and make a real towards peace" letter). borders: Bush's made history .recognized some Is- a return to the common- the Green Line. also rejected any to Israel for refugeesandtheir United States is and well-being as a ;rate, It seems clear i agreed, just, fair, istic framework for to the Palestinian as part of any will found through of a Pales- and the settling refu In light ma- to expect that issues. the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negoti- ate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities" (April 14 letter). Yasser Arafat: Bush has criticized the Palestinian Authority president for sup- porting terrorism and has made his ouster a condition for the formation of a Pales- tin;an state. Bush has never invited Arafat to the White House. "Peace requires a new and different Palestinian leader- ship, so that a Palestinian state can be born. I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not com- promised by terror" (Bush speech, June 24, 2002). THE U.S. ROLE: Jerusalem: Like many presidents before him, Bush pledged during his 2000 cam- paign to move the U.S. em- bassy to Israel's capital--and, like each of those presidents, he failed to do so. Republican officials say the commitment to moving the embassy will make another appearance in this year's party platform. THE MIDDLE EAST: Democracy: Bush has made democratizing theArabworld a centerpiece of his Middle East policy. He has outlined incentives to prod Arab states 'o introduce reforms. Iran: Bush called Iran part of an "axis of evil," along with [raq and North Korea (State of the Union Address 2002). Bush wants to continue in- vestigating to learn if Iran aids terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and A1-Qaida, and whether Iran had a role in the Sept. 11,200i terrorist attacks (CNN, 7/19/2004). Bush believes in maintain- ing pressure on Iran to dis- close its nuclear plans (Rose Garden news conference, 8/2/2004). "We are paying very close attention to Iran. We have ever since I've been in office here. We are working with ou r friends to keep the pressu re on the mullahs to listen to the demands of the free world," Bush said in a Rose Garden news conference on Aug. 2 The United States is working with the International Atomic Energy Agency "to keep the pressure on Iran, and" Secre- tary of State Colin Powell "is working very closely with the foreign ministers of France, Great Britain and Germany, who are taking it upon them- selves to make it clear that the demands of Europe are the same as the demands of the United States, that we expect there to be full disclosure, full transparency of their nuclear weapons programs." Syria: Bush at first resisted Congress' Syria Account- ability Act, which imposes sanctions on Syria as long as it supports terrorists, fails to dismantle programs to develop weapons of mass destruction, continues to occupy Lebanon and fails to secure its border with lraq. Bush relent in December, after Syria failed to meet even the minimal requirements of the proposed bill, and signed it into law. The bill had a six- month grace period written into it, but after Syria failed once again to make prog- ress--with the exception of securing the Iraqi border-- Bush imposed some sanc- tions in May affecting trade and travel. In recent weeks, administration officials have hinted that more sanctions could be in store. "The Syrian government must understand that its conduct alone will determine the duration of the sanctions, and the extent to which ad- ditional sanctions may be imposed should the Syrian government fail to adopt a more constructive approach to relationswith its neighbors, weapons of mass destruction, and terrorism. "If the Syrian government demonstrates a genuine intention to seek true peace by confronting terror and violence, ending its pursuit and development of weapons of mass destruction, and re- specting the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon, the United States will re- spond positively" (Statement upon imposing sanctions, May 11). ANTI-SEMITISM: Bush has won accolades from a broad spectrum of Jewish organizations for his role--considered critical--in getting European nations to examine burgeoning anti- Semitism in two conferences. Democrats have chided him, however, for not speaking out strongly against anti- Semitism among U.S. al- lies in the Muslim world, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia; Bush administration officials say such criticism is implicit in Bush's prodding for democratic reforms in those countries. "Perhaps the deepest obstacle to peace is found in the hearts of men and women. The Jewish people have seen, over the years and over the centuries; that hate prepares the way for violence. The refusal to expose and con- front intolerance can lead to crimes beyond imagining. So we have a duty to expose and confront anti-Semitism, wherever it is found" (AIPAC speech, May 18). . DOMESTIC ISSUES: Abortion: In 1999, Bush said he would support a con- stitutional amendment to ban abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to preserve the health of the mother, but he provided the caveat that America was not ready for such a change (Washington Post, 3/11/1999). Bush re- peated part of that declaration in the prelude to signing the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, saying, "I don't think the culture has changed to the extent that the American people or the Congress would totally ban abortions" (Detroit News, 10/29/2003). Judicial nominees: Bush says he chooses judges based on their qualifications, not by their position on specific issues. 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