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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom

Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace

Chapter Activities

Madison, WI

The Daily Cardinal

Students, Professors Petition for U.S. Aid in Israel
By Mary Cavanaugh
November 30, 2004

With a resolution to the continuing conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians as their goal, approximately 100 members of the Madison Jewish community signed an open letter composed by Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, or The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace to urge President Bush to appoint a political envoy to act as a mediator between the two groups."

Just by doing the appointment, it signifies the intentionality of both of the administrations to really bring both sides to the negotiating table," said Aliza Becker, executive director of the National Office of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom. "With enough persistence and influence, an envoy can broker and bridge the gap between the two parties."

The Madison supporters signed their names along with hundreds of others from around the country in an effort to pressure the United States to step in and help promote peaceful negotiations.

As a member of the Madison chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, Todd Miller showed his support for the appointment of a permanent envoy by signing the letter.

"I have a child ... and as long as he's been able to talk, my wife and I have been teaching him to share things and if you have a disagreement, you talk about it and you don't fight. So I think of that as a metaphor for how I think countries should interact," he said.

Also signing the letter were several Jewish UW-Madison students, including senior Ben Herman, who said he wants to send a clear message to Bush.

"I hope he gets the message from enough of us that he has the chance to be very successful in Israeli policy or he can sit back and became known as the president who had the opportunity but let it slip by his fingers," he said.

Although this letter was drafted prior to the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, his passing has created more optimism for the supporters of this letter.

"I think this moment, with Arafat's death, with the rethinking of Palestinian leadership and direction, Israelis are now having an opportunity to work with Palestinian leaders that they have not discounted as they did with Arafat," said Alan Weisbard, UW-Madison associate professor in the department of medical history and bioethics.

 

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