News Release

Perspectives on Bush-Sharon Meeting

NASEER ARURI
Author of the book Dishonest Broker: The U.S. Roles in Israel and Palestine, Aruri is chancellor professor emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. He said today: “At the rhetorical level, both leaders pay lip service to the creation of a Palestinian state. And yet, both are committed to positions at variance with the existence of a truly independent and contiguous state. Both have declared the so-called Disengagement Plan of Ariel Sharon as the only game in town. … The ‘Disengagement Plan’ will serve as a model for a political settlement in the West Bank where contiguity has been ruled out by the so-called separation wall, which is rapidly consolidating most of the settlement blocs and rendering the West Bank a fragmented area unsuitable for a viable Palestinian state. … A drastic reversal of these impediments is the only path towards peace, and that requires a solution under impartial and international auspices.”
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MORDECHAI VANUNU
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz has reported that on April 2 the U.S. State Department “called on Israel to forswear nuclear weapons and accept international Atomic Energy Agency safeguards on all nuclear activities.” Vanunu, who worked at Israel’s Dimona nuclear facility, revealed Israel’s nuclear capacity in 1986 and was imprisoned for 18 years, most of it in solitary confinement. He said today: “I hope Bush will begin to deal seriously with Israel’s nuclear weapons and urge Sharon to sign the Nonproliferation Treaty. The U.S. government, if it is serious about nonproliferation, will confront the Israeli government about its nuclear weapons. Israel introduced the policy, the system of cheating on the development of nuclear weapons and then you had South Africa, Iran, Iraq and North Korea.” On March 17, Vanunu was indicted by the Israeli government for speaking to media and continues to be under severe travel restrictions. His court date is Tuesday. He told the Institute for Public Accuracy today: “I will continue to exercise my human rights, my right of free speech. … I hope reporters in Crawford will raise questions about Israel’s nuclear weapons and my freedom of speech and freedom to leave.”
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HADI JAWAD
Jawad is spokesperson for the Crawford Peace House, which scheduled a news conference at 2 p.m. (local time) Monday in Crawford. The group created a 800-foot-long banner containing all of the United Nations resolutions that Israel is in violation of.
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Rev. DONALD WAGNER
Author of the book Anxious for Armageddon, Wagner said today: “There has been a convergence with Bush coming to power of the neo-conservatives, the rightwing of the Republican Party, Christian fundamentalists, and Jewish supporters of Likud and further to the right. This is exercising significant power in the formation of U.S. Mideast policy, using the ‘war on terrorism,’ and rallying many around a culture of fear.” Wagner is executive director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at North Park University in Chicago, which is holding a conference on “Israel, the Bible, and the Future” this Thursday and Friday.
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LIAT WEINGART
On Wednesday shareholders of Caterpillar, Inc., will vote on a resolution calling on the company to investigate whether its sale of bulldozers to Israel for demolition of Palestinian houses, orchards and roads violates its own Worldwide Code of Business Conduct. On the same day, groups in over 40 cities — including Chicago, Washington, Dallas, Memphis, New York City, Boston and Stockholm — will hold demonstrations at Caterpillar dealerships and board member offices. Weingart, an Israeli Jew and the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, is the co-director of Jewish Voice for Peace, which initiated the shareholder resolution at Caterpillar, Inc. She recently visited Israel and the West Bank, where she worked with Israeli peace activists and Palestinian farmers whose land was confiscated by Israel’s “security wall.” She will be at the Caterpillar shareholders meeting in Chicago.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167