Letter to Mayor Lupolianski

May 15, 2004

The Honorable Uri Lupolianski
Mayor of Jerusalem

Dear Mayor Lupolianski:

The 22nd Jerusalem Conference of Mayors has provided us with a unique opportunity to visit your beautiful and historic city, to learn about its governance, to learn about many of the special challenges facing the State of Israel and to spend time with our colleagues from Israel and from countries around the world. We also have been impressed with the vigor and vitality of Israeli democracy. This has been an important Conference and we are honored to have been able to take part in it.

Many of us came here in spite of concerns voiced by family and friends. Never while we were here did we feel that our safety was in jeopardy. We found Jerusalem and the other parts of Israel which we visited to be peaceful and secure. When we return home we will encourage others to visit Israel so that they can learn about the country, meet its people and be able to see many of the important historic sites.

While we were here we also got a sense of the tragic toll that terrorism is taking on the nation and on its people. We joined all Israelis in feeling sorrow at the loss of 13 soldiers in Gaza while we were here. And we felt that loss more directly when we learned that one of the soldiers was the son of a friend of one of our delegation and when we saw the convoy taking the body of one of the victims back to Jerusalem for burial. Yet with these and other losses we could not help but be impressed by the resilience of the Israeli people and their unwillingness to give in to terrorism.

We hope that a way soon can be found to reduce violence in the region and to achieve a peaceful resolution of the differences that exist. We know that peace will lead to a better life for both Israelis and Palestinians.

On behalf of The U.S. Conference of Mayors, we thank you, the municipality, the American Jewish Congress, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Tourism and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation for all of your help in making this conference happen.

Sincerely,

James Garner
Mayor of Hempstead, New York
President, The U.S. Conference of Mayors

Jane Campbell Cristina
Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio

Cruz-Madrid

Mayor of Azusa, California


Joseph Griffo
Executive, Oneida County, New York

Rosemarie Ives

Mayor of Redmond, Washington

Charles Tooley
Mayor of Billings, Montana

David Wallace

Mayor of Sugar Land, Texas


Michael Wildes
Mayor of Englewood, New Jersey

Shelia Young
Mayor of San Leandro, California

Paid for by Friends of Michael J. Wildes, Claudia Colbert, Treasurer