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May 11, 2003

Burns criticizes Israel supporters in US

From the Jerusalem Post:

In a meeting with Israeli left-wing political activists and Palestinian Authority cabinet ministers last week, US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs William Burns made disparaging statements regarding US President George W. Bush's political supporters in the US, intimating that conservatives, Christians, as well as representatives of AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby in Washington, lack common sense...

In a meeting on May 4 with the "Peace Coalition" at the US Consulate in west Jerusalem, Burns spoke for just under an hour with members of the left-wing lobby group about the Quartet's road map plan for Palestinian-Israeli negotiations and its chances for success.

It should be noted that in the past Burns turned down requests for a meeting with the right-wing lobby group, the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Repeated requests by the council for meetings with US Ambassador Dan Kurtzer have not even received a response from the US Embassy, according to Council Spokesman Yehoshua Mor-Yosef.

According to the minutes of the meeting, MK Avital "expressed reservations about the US Conservatives, Christians and AIPAC."

Avital alleged that these constituencies, that are strong supporters of Bush, "are lobbying to torpedo the road map and suggested that the Americans should help us [the Peace Coalition] to express our views to the American public."

Following this statement, Avital pressed Burns to discover whether Bush is determined to move ahead with the road map.

In response to Avital's remarks, Burns is reported by the minutes as assuring the meeting's participants of the president's commitment to the plan. Burns then stated his view that "the common sense of all peoples will override the Conservative and Christian viewpoints once they see the road map's potential. " [more]

I don't even know where to begin in expressing my opinions on this article...