Dear Friends of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom,

I write this with a heavy heart. Brit Tzedek participates in the sorrow and dread that pervades Israel. The terrorist attacks on resorts in the northern Sinai are truly despicable. Like all violence, it can only generate more violence.

The loss of life, Palestinian and Israeli, this past week is heart-breaking. In Gaza, the death toll has reached 96, including at least 18 children, and it is still rising. In the Sinai, the death toll has reached 33, with the total still unknown. Moreover, there is growing suspicion that al Qaeda is behind the bombings.

Every Israeli I know could have been in Nueiba, Ras Satan, or Taba during this holiday week of Sukkot, including me. The Sinai was the one place we could go on the cheap for uninterrupted peace and beauty for days on end. Fifteen thousand Israelis were in the Sinai when the bombs went off. Many of them, no doubt, were peace and social justice workers who go to the Sinai frequently for much needed respite. The Sinai is where the non-observant go to feed their souls. That militants might target the northern Sinai was, until now, unthinkable.

The effect of violence is hopelessness and despair. The effect of policies that do not promote real solutions to the problems in the Middle East and elsewhere is also hopelessness and despair. In their speeches in Geneva to mark the signing of the Geneva Accord both Yossi Beilin and Yasir Abed Rabbo made impassioned calls to the nations of the world to intervene to ensure the establishment of two states--Israel and Palestine--living side by side.

Hopelessness is not an option. U.S. intervention is the key to restarting the peace process, though both sides may come to the table kicking and screaming. This will take firm U.S. resolve. Whoever the next president is, he must know that there is an organized, united American Jewish community to support his firm leadership in restarting the peace process, whatever it takes. Please say "no" to hopelessness by signing the Open Letter to the Next President.

B'shalom,

Marcia Freedman, President

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

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