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Adopted by the JCPA Plenum
February 23, 1998
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Resolution on the Iraq Crisis

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) strongly supports the Administration's efforts to bring about Iraqi compliance with United Nations resolutions adopted in the wake of Saddam Hussein's aggression against Kuwait and Israel. An agreement was reached yesterday between United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and Iraq's leadership which President Clinton believes might serve as an effective vehicle for achieving this objective.

The cease-fire arrangement ending the 1991 Gulf War included Iraq's unconditional agreement to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction. Under authority of the U.N. Security Council, a special commission of inspectors, Unscom, was established to oversee the destruction of Iraq's missile, nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs. Notwithstanding Iraq's refusal to comply fully with the U.N. mandate, the Unscom inspectors have succeeded in finding and destroying many of the illegal weapons. However, the assignment has not yet been completed. Since November 1997, the U.N. inspectors have been barred from Saddam Hussein's so-called presidential sites.

Consistent with the U.N. Security Council mandate, Unscom is fully justified in demanding and an end to Saddam Hussein's flouting of international norms and unfettered access to all Iraqi locations. We trust that the Administration - in cooperation with the international community - will closely monitor Iraq's fulfillment of its obligation to permit such access.

We congratulate U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan for his efforts that appear to have averted the need for military action. However, the JCPA stands with the U.S. Administration in its decision to maintain military preparedness as may be needed.

Resolution on The Clinton Administration and the
Israeli/Palestinian Peace Process

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) commends the Clinton Administration and the State Department for their tireless efforts to advance the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians within the framework of the Oslo Accords. In particular we express our gratitude to President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Special Middle East Negotiator Dennis Ross who, along with many other American officials, have made the achievement of a lasting Israeli/ Palestinian peace agreement a major priority.

The Administration has shown good faith and patience by actively encouraging the Palestinians and Israelis to take a number of steps aimed at building confidence and improving prospects for a comprehensive agreement, while avoiding attempts to impose a solution.

The Administration has consistently emphasized the uniqueness and the importance of the U.S./Israeli relationship and recognized Israel's fundamental security needs. The American Jewish community believes that these long-standing positions are critically important to the prospects for peace.

We strongly encourage the Administration to continue to:

  • make the attainment of a comprehensive and sustainable Israeli/Palestinian peace a top priority, and to use the good offices of the United States to bring the other nations in the region into the peace process;
  • infuse the negotiations with creative ideas and active encouragement for steps to be taken by both sides;
  • encourage both the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to avoid provocative rhetoric and actions, to engage vigorously in reciprocal confidence building measures, to relate to each other as partners in the urgent quest for peace; and
  • maintain the kind of strong, public support for Israel and the peace process that has characterized this Administration's efforts thus far.
It is through this combination of patience and friendly persistence that peace may ultimately be achieved.

Resolution on Solidarity with Israel
During the Iraq Crisis

In Israel, bitter memories of Iraqi Scud missiles raining down on civilian population centers in 1991 remain fresh. Saddam Hussein evidently continues to possess the capacity to launch missiles armed with conventional and possibly non-conventional weapons as well. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) expresses its solidarity with the people of Israel who were forced yet again to live through a period of terrible anxiety. We welcome recent statements by senior American officials affirming Israel's right of self-defense

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