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March 28, 2003

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From: imra@netvision.net.il

Subject: Yesha Council: ISRAEL'S GOVERNMENT DOESN'T
SUPPORT PALESTINIAN STATE IDEA

Yesha Council: ISRAEL'S GOVERNMENT DOESN'T SUPPORT PALESTINIAN STATE IDEA
Thursday, March 27, 2003


The Yesha Council released the following statement this evening:

"In anticipation of new Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom's meetings in the
United States, the Yesha Council reminds the Minister of his unequivocal
statements regarding the Palestinian Authority which turns assets entrusted
to it for civilian purposes into a machine for war and terror.

It is to be recalled that the Government of Israel has never decided to
support establishment of a Palestinian state and the Prime Minister's
position is not binding on the Government or the Knesset.

The Yesha Council wishes Minister Shalom success in repelling the Road Map
[plan] which can internationalize the conflict and impose upon Israel severe
conditions which can lead to its destruction."
===

COMMENTARY by Susie Dym, spokesperson for Cities of Israel (Mattot Arim), a
grassroots Israeli NGO working toward peace-for-peace since 1992:

In an unusual move, the Yesha Council authorized the above statement for
immediate release to the American general and Jewish press, before its
release to the Israeli press which is planned for tomorrow morning Israel
time. It is apparent that the Yesha Council is anxious to signal to Jewish
organizations abroad, as rapidly as possible, that any acquiescence on their
part with the Palestinian State element of the RoadMap plan would be
inappropriate because the Government of Israel has never decided to support
establishment of a Palestinian state.

The Yesha Council's statement regarding the Prime Minister's
pro-Palestinian-state position not being binding on Israel's Government is
correct and is based on Section 32 of Israel's Basic Law: The Government.
This Section empowers Israel's government, as a body, to act for the State
(rather than bestowing any such power on the Prime Minister, as an
individual).

The Yesha Council has traditionally been at the forefront of "peace for
peace" politics in Israel which rejects the notion that Israel can achieve
peace by relinquishing territory.

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