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Sharon's policies from top Israeli
security officials, support for the
Geneva proposal "collectively sends a
signal that simply muddying along
with the bloody status quo is not
acceptable," said Lewis Roth, assistant
executive director of Americans for
Peace Now, which is organizing some
of Beilin's Washington appearances.
Sharon complains that Beilin's team
has no authority to negotiate in
Israel's name and concedes far too
much, including land swaps, the dis-
mantlement of several heavily popu-
lated Jewish settlements and a divi-
sion of Jerusalem.
Yet it is precisely those details that
make the Accord attractive to Bush
administration officials frustrated by
the reluctance of Sharon and
Palestinian Authority President Yasser
Arafat to commit to detailed solu-
tions for the most controversial issues
dividing the sides.
"We have welcomed efforts such as
these, such as that embodied by the
drafters of this Geneva plan, to intro-
duce issues, discuss issues and consid-
er issues that have to be dealt with
down the road," State Department
spokesman Richard Boucher said
The Zionist Organization of
America harshly criticized the admin-
istration's treatment of the plan.
"It is appalling that the Bush
administration would legitimize an
agreement by radical Israelis acting in
opposition to the democratically
elected government of Israel," said
the group's national president,
Morton Klein. "Imagine how the
United States would feel if Israel were
to embrace a group of radical former
members of Congress who negotiate
an Accord on nuclear weapons with
the North Korean government."
In a New York Times opinion article
Dec. 1, Beilin and Abed Rabbo said
the Accord is a "virtual" agreement
for decision-makers to do with as
An eagerness to get to the nitty-
gritty is not new for the Bush admin-
istration, which already has voiced
strong support for another freelance
peace initiative, a petition promoted
by Ami Ayalon, a former head of
Israel's Shin Bet security service, and
Palestinian intellectual Sari
What is new is support for the
plans from Israel's friends in
Congress: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-
Calif., and Sen. Frank Lautenberg,
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