Check out this open letter from Sen. Schumer to the President:

As you know, despite the fact that we are in different political parties, I have been a strong and outspoken supporter of your Mideast policies. You have understood three tenets that previous administrations, both Democrat and Republican, have failed to grasp: first, that Yasir Arafat is a barrier to peace because of his duplicitous ways; second, that Israeli settlements, whatever one’s view of them, are not the causus belli for the conflict; and third, that an end to Palestinian suicide bombings and violence must be the first step in any peace process….

Recent history clearly disproves the proposition that settlements are the root cause of this conflict. At the 2000 summit in Taba, Egypt, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak courageously agreed to an American plan to give back virtually all of the West Bank to the Palestinians ­ including the settlements ­ in return for peace. This offer was summarily rejected by the Palestinian Authority with the backing of the majority of the Palestinian people….

I believe recent changes in approach taken by your administration threatens all that has been gained over the past two years. Equating, as the Roadmap does, the removal of settlements with ending Palestinian violence accepts a strategy that history has proven a failure….

And on the House side:

Thirty-four Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, including the two senior Democrats, complained to President Bush on Friday about his criticism of an Israeli assassination attempt….

“We were deeply dismayed to hear your criticism of Israel for fighting acts of terror. The attack on Hamas leader Abdel Rantissi was clearly justified as an application of Israel’s right to self-defense,” they said in a letter….

“Just as the United States has the right to prosecute the war on terrorism, Israel has the same right to fight terrorism in its own neighborhood and its own capital,” they added. [Yahoo News]

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