Posted on July 16, 2007 in Press Releases

A Statement by AAI President James Zogby on President Bush’s Commitment to Palestinian Aid:

President George W. Bush’s generous offer of assistance to the Palestinian Authority and his intention of convening a regional peace conference are welcome. Unfortunately they bear the trademarks of this administration’s policies: failing to act when the U.S. could have done some good, and ignoring reality when finally engaging.

The time to have acted would have been when Abu Mazen was first elected and had the support of the majority of Palestinians; or when an Israeli Prime Minister was strong and popular. At this point, due to our neglect, neither leader has the sufficient support of their people to make the tough decisions needed to forge peace.

By raising hopes and expectations that cannot be met at a time when most Palestinian families are struggling to feed their families, the President risks further undermining the very moderates he wishes to support.

The price of past neglect is that much bolder and decisive leadership is required that can produce immediate actions, starting with real pressure on Israel to ease conditions that have made Palestinian life unbearable in both Gaza and the West Bank.