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Kerry Indistinguishable From Bush On Israel

Kerry Indistinguishable From Bush On Israel And Palestine

GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES http://www.gp.org

For Immediate Release Thursday, April 22, 2004


GREENS CALL KERRY INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM BUSH ON ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Leaders of the Green Party of the United States strongly criticized President Bush and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry (D.-Mass.) for their identical positions in support of Israel's policy of assassination, maintenance of illegal settlements on the West Bank (a reversal of earlier policy), and denial of the right of return for Palestinians.

"The Green Party and its candidates have called for Israel to adhere to international law and U.N. directives and to dismantle the settlements in the Palestinian territories, and for the right of Palestinian refuges to return home," said Ben Manski, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. An American Jew who grew up in Israel, Manski received and rejected an IDF draft notice when he turned 18. "We support efforts toward nonviolent resolution of the crisis by Israelis and Palestinians who are dedicated to peace and universal human rights, without which we'll never see security for either Israelis or Palestinians. These efforts have been eclipsed by the unrelenting state violence committed by the Israeli military on orders from the Sharon government, and by a small minority of desperate Palestinians -- and now by explicit support from the Bush Administration, under policies apparently dictated by Sharon."

Greens called the plan backed by President Bush, Prime Minister Sharon, and Sen. Kerry (Meet the Press, Sunday, April 18) that allows Israel to keep and continue to settle on land seized in the 1967 war a disastrous setback to efforts for peace.

"We were especially aghast that Sen. Kerry supported the assassination of Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi, which Greens called a summary and extra-judicial execution," said Julia Willebrand, co-chair of the Green Party's International Committee.

The rejection of the Palestinian right of return by Bush, Sharon, and now Kerry comes on the heels of a landmark 'Right of Return and Just Peace Conference' held in Haifa, Israel at the end of March, at which over 300 Jewish and Palestinian Israeli citizens gathered for the first time to refute the claim that unconditional support among Israelis for the right of Palestinian refugees to return does not exist. Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, in the final declaration of the 'Haifa Initiative', stated that, "What the hundreds of people attending the conference showed was that a growing number of Jews and Palestinians in Israel regard the implementation of the Palestinian right of return as the only road to a lasting peace and reconciliation."

"The Green Party continues to support the right of Palestinians to return to their homes, and regards it as at the heart of the conflict," says Charles Shaw, media coordinator for the Illinois Green Party. "Similarly, Israel must return to its pre-1967 borders as the opener to any peace negotiations.

These are significant differences between our position and that of the Democrats and Republicans. John Kerry's views are becoming indistinguishable from those of George W. Bush."

MORE INFORMATION

The Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org 1700 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 404 Washington, DC 20009. 202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN Fax 202-319-7193


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