Jewish Group Welcomes Jesse Jackson's Comments on Gaza Disengagement

By Randy Hall | July 7, 2008 | 8:22 PM EDT

( - The American Jewish Congress Thursday welcomed Rev. Jesse Jackson's comments placing the onus on going forward in the Middle East peace process squarely on the Palestinians.

His comments were made to Israel's ambassador to the United States, Daniel Ayalon, according to a report in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz.

Jackson reportedly described the disengagement as "a bold and painful step toward a long-term solution," adding that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon "deserves a partnership that is just as bold and committed."

Leaving no doubt as to his assessment of the Palestinian leadership's shortcomings, especially with regard to fulfilling the requirement to disarm terrorist organizations, Jackson said "the moral burden now substantially shifts to the Palestinians."

"Jackson should be applauded for his honest and forthright evaluation of the situation," said Richard Kronthal, vice chairman of the American Jewish Congress Committee on Law, Social Justice and Intergroup Relations.

"Israel has made a giant step forward, and the burden now falls on the Palestinians to dismantle the terrorist organizations, as required by common sense, as well as by the Road Map for Middle East peace," Kronthal added.

The American Jewish Congress describes itself as "a membership association of Jewish Americans organized to defend Jewish interests at home and abroad, through public policy advocacy, in the courts, Congress, the executive branch and state and local governments."

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