At Jerusalem Conference of Mayors: U.S. Mayors Condemn Terrorism, Rebuff Palestinian Efforts to Intimidate Them Into Not Attending AJCongress-Sponsored Gathering

Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from American Jewish Congress

    NEW YORK, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The American delegation to the recently
 concluded 21st Annual Jerusalem Conference of Mayors, sponsored by AJCongress,
 strongly condemned terrorism in a letter presented to Jerusalem Mayor Ehud
 Olmert on the closing night of the gathering.
     "During our week in Israel our safety and security were never in doubt.
 Yet this week was marred by tragic violence. We denounce these acts of
 terrorism in the strongest possible terms," wrote the mayors Saturday night.
     The letter was signed by each of the eight participating Americans, led by
 H. Brent Coles, the Mayor of Boise, Idaho and President of the U.S. Conference
 of Mayors. In all, 53 mayors from 33 countries attended the Conference.
     According to AJCongress President Jack Rosen, who represented the
 organization, the mayors were angered by Palestinian attempts to intimidate
 them into not participating. Prior to the Conference, Fatah leadership in East
 Jerusalem had warned the mayors not to enter East Jerusalem and the Old City
 with Olmert, and advised that Fatah could not guarantee their safety if they
 did. The visits proceeded without incident.
     "These attempts at intimidation backfired and didn't affect the mayors in
 the least," Rosen said. "Some of them, particularly those from outside the
 United States, now understand the situation faced by Israel for the first
 time." During the Conference, there was a series of bombings in Israel, as
 well as the killing by a sniper of a 10-month old baby.
     In their letter to Olmert, the Americans declared, "As mayors, we know
 first hand the impact that violence can have on our cities and our citizens.
 The terrorism that occurred in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel while we were
 here victimizes not just the individuals who were injured or killed, but the
 community as a whole. When such acts occur we are diminished as a people, as
 families and as nations."
     Moreover, the Mayors continued, "the violence exacts a further toll in
 terms of opportunity lost. While much has been accomplished in Jerusalem and
 throughout Israel, the accomplishments could be so much greater -- for
 Palestinians and Israelis alike -- if peace were achieved and all energies
 could be focused on human and economic and cultural development."
     The mayors invited Olmert to the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting,
 to be held June 22-26 in Detroit. The U.S. Conference, along with Israel's
 Foreign Ministry, co-sponsor the Jerusalem gathering along with AJCongress.
     The American mayors, besides Coles, include:  Marc Morial of New Orleans
 (Vice-President of the Mayors Conference); Ralph Appezzato of Alameda,
 California; Bob Young of Augusta, Georgia; Mary Lou Makepeace of Colorado
 Springs, Colorado; David Armstrong of Louisville; Bill Purcell of Nashville;
 and Judy Nadler of Santa Clara, California.
 
 

SOURCE American Jewish Congress
    NEW YORK, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The American delegation to the recently
 concluded 21st Annual Jerusalem Conference of Mayors, sponsored by AJCongress,
 strongly condemned terrorism in a letter presented to Jerusalem Mayor Ehud
 Olmert on the closing night of the gathering.
     "During our week in Israel our safety and security were never in doubt.
 Yet this week was marred by tragic violence. We denounce these acts of
 terrorism in the strongest possible terms," wrote the mayors Saturday night.
     The letter was signed by each of the eight participating Americans, led by
 H. Brent Coles, the Mayor of Boise, Idaho and President of the U.S. Conference
 of Mayors. In all, 53 mayors from 33 countries attended the Conference.
     According to AJCongress President Jack Rosen, who represented the
 organization, the mayors were angered by Palestinian attempts to intimidate
 them into not participating. Prior to the Conference, Fatah leadership in East
 Jerusalem had warned the mayors not to enter East Jerusalem and the Old City
 with Olmert, and advised that Fatah could not guarantee their safety if they
 did. The visits proceeded without incident.
     "These attempts at intimidation backfired and didn't affect the mayors in
 the least," Rosen said. "Some of them, particularly those from outside the
 United States, now understand the situation faced by Israel for the first
 time." During the Conference, there was a series of bombings in Israel, as
 well as the killing by a sniper of a 10-month old baby.
     In their letter to Olmert, the Americans declared, "As mayors, we know
 first hand the impact that violence can have on our cities and our citizens.
 The terrorism that occurred in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel while we were
 here victimizes not just the individuals who were injured or killed, but the
 community as a whole. When such acts occur we are diminished as a people, as
 families and as nations."
     Moreover, the Mayors continued, "the violence exacts a further toll in
 terms of opportunity lost. While much has been accomplished in Jerusalem and
 throughout Israel, the accomplishments could be so much greater -- for
 Palestinians and Israelis alike -- if peace were achieved and all energies
 could be focused on human and economic and cultural development."
     The mayors invited Olmert to the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting,
 to be held June 22-26 in Detroit. The U.S. Conference, along with Israel's
 Foreign Ministry, co-sponsor the Jerusalem gathering along with AJCongress.
     The American mayors, besides Coles, include:  Marc Morial of New Orleans
 (Vice-President of the Mayors Conference); Ralph Appezzato of Alameda,
 California; Bob Young of Augusta, Georgia; Mary Lou Makepeace of Colorado
 Springs, Colorado; David Armstrong of Louisville; Bill Purcell of Nashville;
 and Judy Nadler of Santa Clara, California.
 
 SOURCE  American Jewish Congress