Dear friends of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom,

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom is proud to be an active supporter of the campaign for the Open Letter from American Jews to the Next President. We urge you to be among the first to send the next President a strong message from American Jews, calling on him to:

* Make the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations a top priority;

* Appoint a special envoy of international stature empowered in all ways to bring the two sides to the negotiating table within the first 100 days of the new administration.

Join Bernice Balter; actor, Theodore Bikel; President of the Institute for Middle East Peace and Economic Development, Stephen P. Cohen; author, Leonard Fein; singer and songwriter, Debbie Friedman< Dartmouth Professor, Susannah Heschel; Former President of the American Jewish Congress, Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg; playwright, Tony Kushner; Harvard University Professor, Robert Jay Lifton; Former Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Theodore Mann; Executive Vice President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Rabbi Paul Menitoff; author, Letty Cottin Pogrebin; President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, Rabbi Amy Small and others in signing an Open Letter from American Jews to the Next President.

To sign the Open Letter, to see a full list of the Host Committee and to learn more about this campaign, click on http://openletter.btvshalom.org/.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become an ever-widening spiral of violence and suffering. Lives are being lost. Something must happen and happen soon to bring this cycle to a halt, and to reverse it in the direction of constructive progress towards a peaceful negotiated solution. This is why we ask you to sign the letter at http://openletter.btvshalom.org TODAY and to pass this message on to as many people as you can by forwarding this email or by sending our "Tell Others" message.

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom is participating in this campaign to support the Open Letter together with seven other American Jewish peace groups. Brit Tzedek alone  represents an audience of 18,000 members and supporters. Together, these groups have the power to generate a massive campaign. The more widely this message is sent out, the greater its impact will be.

The Open Letter campaign will be presented, with tens of thousands of signatures, to the next President at the beginning of his term. The campaign will conclude with the publication of the letter in at least one major national newspaper.

Whoever is elected the next President of the United States, whether Bush or Kerry, will be under tremendous pressure to proactively engage in the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the absence of substantial, bilateral negotiations over the past four years, diplomacy has been supplanted by a cycle of violence and retaliation, resulting in the loss of some 4,000 lives. Sharon's disengagement plan, which does not include a plan for a real negotiated settlement, has already created the conditions for chaos on the Palestinian side and conflict on the Israeli side. Moreover Israel is expanding settlements in the West Bank, in contravention of the promises Sharon made to President Bush last April.

Closer to home, Americans are concerned about personal safety within our own borders and abroad. The unresolved conflicts in the Middle East, including the conflict between Israeli and Palestinians, are fodder for terrorists.

By joining other American Jews in signing the Open Letter you will strengthen the voice of the majority of American Jews who, as consistently demonstrated by polls, support a negotiated, two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Collectively these signatures will demonstrate to the next President that there is strong support within the American Jewish community for vigorous reengagement by the U.S. in the active pursuit of a just resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Please stand with us and be counted by signing the Open Letter today. Just click on http://openletter.btvshalom.org.

Act now to mobilize your friends, colleagues, and family members by distributing this email or by sending our "Tell Others" message as widely as you can.

Together, we will make a difference.

B'shalom,

Marcia Freedman, President
Diane Balser, Vice President

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
11 E. Adams Street, Suite 707
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 341-1205, Fax: (312) 341-1206
E-mail: info@btvshalom.org, Website: www.btvshalom.org


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