President Bush Must Capitalize on Historic Moment by Appointing an Envoy Now!

  Dear friends of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom,

American Jews must flood the White House with messages in support of naming an internationally recognized envoy dedicated to facilitating the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict now. Act now!

Currently there is a constellation of historic circumstances that must not be ignored. In the past few weeks:

  • The Israeli government voted for the first time to remove settlements from part of the occupied territories;

  • President George Bush was reelected;

  • Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died.

All of these are dramatic sources of change that create challenges and opportunities for progress in the peace process.

On the day that Yasser Arafat was buried, President Bush met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. At their press conference, President Bush went on record that he intends to put his political capital behind the establishment of a Palestinian state in the next four years. Prime Minister Blair is pressing the President to move more aggressively for a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Blair called for Bush to appoint a special envoy to the Middle East to steer the two parties toward negotiations that would result in two free, democratic and peaceful states, one Jewish and one Palestinian.

In the three months leading up to the election, many of you -- more than 8,000 American Jews in total -- signed the Open Letter from American Jews to the Next President, calling on him to unambiguously recommit to bringing about a negotiated settlement, and to signal his resolve by appointing an internationally recognized envoy to the Middle East within the first 100 days of his new Administration. The Open Letter will shortly be presented to President Bush.

We must now capitalize on the momentum created by this confluence of historic factors by reaffirming our demand that resolving this conflict must top the new Administration’s agenda. Now is the time to write to President Bush to urge him to act on Prime Minister Blair’s request, by appointing a special envoy who will shepherd Israeli and Palestinian negotiators toward a final settlement. We have no time to lose!

We urge you to respond to this Action Alert and make your voice heard.

Please share this Action Alert with family, friends, and colleagues, and tell them about Brit Tzedek v'Shalom.

B’Shalom,

Diane Balser, Vice President and Co-Chair of the Advocacy and Public Policy Committee

Steve Masters, Chair of the Advocacy and Public Policy Committee

Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
President George W. Bush

Below is the sample letter:

Subject: President Bush: Capitalize on Historic Moment by Appointing a Mideast Envoy

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

As an American Jew, I strongly urge you to honor the request of Prime Minister Tony Blair, and appoint an internationally recognized envoy dedicated to brokering a negotiated, two-state solution between the Israeli government and the soon-to-be-elected new leadership of the Palestinian Authority.

With the death of Yasser Arafat, to be followed by elections for a new leadership, I see an opportunity that must not be lost. The Israeli Knesset has already voted to remove settlements from Gaza and part of the West Bank, which are necessary first steps in returning both parties to the negotiating table and ultimately in ending the occupation of Palestinian lands.

In your first term, you endorsed the Road Map to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict that would lead to a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians. In your second term, I hope that you will put the full force of your authority behind the implementation of this plan, which is supported not only by the United States, but also by the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.

I ask that you provide the leadership and commitment necessary - through your appointment of a fully empowered and respected envoy - to accomplish in your second term what you pledged in your first four years as president.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

cc:
Your Representative and Senators

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What's at Stake?
American Jews must act now.

The current confluence of circumstances cannot be ignored. In the last few weeks: the Israeli government voted for the first time to remove settlements from part of the occupied territories, President George Bush was reelected and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died. All of these are dramatic sources of change that create challenges and opportunities for progress in the peace process.  

On the day that Arafat was buried, President Bush met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. At their press conference, President Bush went on record that he intends to put American capital behind the establishment of a Palestinian state in the next four years. The United States is “looking forward to working with Palestinian leaders who are committed to fighting terrorism and committed to democratic reform,” he said, noting that the passing of Arafat provides a “new opportunity” for resolving the conflict.

Prime Minister Blair is pushing the President to move more aggressively for a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – something the European nations wanted in Bush’s first term. Blair called for Bush to appoint a special envoy to the Middle East to steer the two parties toward negotiations that would result in two free, democratic and peaceful states, one Jewish and one Palestinian.

Even before President Bush was reelected, and before the Israeli government voted to withdraw from Gaza and a small portion of the West Bank, and, of course, before Yasser Arafat died, Brit Tzedek v’Shalom collected thousands of signatures from American Jews calling on President Bush to appoint a special Middle East envoy.

It would be a tragedy to miss this opportunity to bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Open Letter that thousands of American Jews signed calls for the President to vigorously pursue a negotiated settlement, starting with the appointment of an emissary of international stature who is empowered to bring both sides back to the negotiating table.

Additional links:

Blair's Prize Is President's Commitment, by Patrick E. Tyler, New York Times, November 13, 2004. 

Time to Implement Bush's Vision, by Akiva Eldar, Haaretz, November 15, 2004. 

Power Struggle, by James Graff, Time Europe, November 14, 2004. 

Think Outside Box: Send Bill Clinton, by Newton N. Minow and Martha Minow, Chicago Tribune, November 12, 2004.

U.S.-U.K. Joint Statement on the Middle East Peace Process, Office of the Press Secretary, November 12, 2004.

Campaign Expiration Date:
November 24, 2004


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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