June 22-26, 2001

 
 
ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS: INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

WHEREAS, for 21 years mayors from the United States along with colleagues from around the world have gathered in Jerusalem for the annual Jerusalem Conference of Mayors, an event co-sponsored by the American Jewish Congress and The United States Conference of Mayors and hosted by the Mayor of Jerusalem in conjunction with The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel; and

WHEREAS, as a result of these annual conferences in Jerusalem, nearly 190 U.S. mayors have developed a much greater appreciation of the issues to be resolved and the challenges to be met by Israel; and

WHEREAS, Israel has offered mayors an opportunity to witness the growth and development, progress and accomplishments of a young and vibrant democracy, including its provision of safe haven to Jews from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia as they returned to their homeland; and

WHEREAS, mayors have rejoiced when there has been progress toward peace within Israel and between Israel and its neighbors, and have been disheartened when violence has occurred and the peace process has been set back; and

WHEREAS, the escalation of serious violence in the region since last fall has produced tragic and senseless losses on all sides of the conflict and has jeopardized progress toward peace; and

WHEREAS, the cease-fire agreement between the Prime Minister of Israel and the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority which is currently in place holds the promise of a reduction in the violence and a resumption of the peace process; and

WHEREAS, mayors know first hand the impact that violence can have on cities and citizens - how violence reaches beyond the victimization of the individuals killed or injured to the victimization of the community as a whole; and

WHEREAS, mayors also know the toll which violence exacts in terms of opportunities lost - how much more could be accomplished for Palestinians and Israelis alike if peace were achieved in Jerusalem and throughout Israel and all energies focused on human, economic and cultural development,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors denounces the violence in Israel and lands under control of the Palestinian Authority in the strongest possible terms; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors urges restraint on all sides, continued observance of the cease-fire agreement, and resumption of the peace process as soon as possible.