New Message to the President - - Take the Next Step
Tell the President to stand firm in support of Palestinian implementation of measures to eliminate violence and
against Israeli settlement expansion.

Dear friend of Brit Tzedek,

Today is launch day for our second Message from American Jews to the President. Be one of the first 1000 to sign on at message.btvshalom.org. We are asking the President to insist on full Israeli compliance on the settlement freeze and full Palestinian compliance with measures to stop violence.

There is a new Message to the President and Secretary of State at message.btvshalom.org, which we are asking you to please sign. (If you signed the first Message, your signature has been counted toward the cumulative total of Message signers, but it will not automatically be transferred to the new Message.)  

There is real forward movement toward resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the first time in many years. The Bush Administration’s significant reengagement is a positive development. Now President Bush and Secretary of State Rice need to act forcefully to restrain all settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. They must at the same time hold the Palestinian Authority (PA) responsible for controlling militant factions and unifying the security forces under one disciplined command.

Though we celebrate the current cease-fire and the impending Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, there is also much cause for concern about the PA’s ability to keep the peace; for example, there has been little progress toward unifying the security forces and eliminating independent militias. There is also cause for concern about continuing measures to expand Israel's hold on Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Just this past week, for example, it was announced that $50 to $80 million of the $350 million in aid slated to go to the Palestinian Authority will be diverted to Israel for use in constructing new, high-tech gates in the security barrier, thus assuming and perhaps ensuring the barrier's permanence—and giving Israel the means for more efficiently controlling freedom of movement in the West Bank.

These are “hold your breath” times for those of us who care deeply about the welfare of Israelis and Palestinians. We hope and pray for continued progress towards peaceful resolution of the conflict. At the same time, we must hold the Bush Administration’s feet to the fire to ensure that both sides meet their obligations to halt violence and to freeze all settlement expansion.

Please sign on now to Message #2 from American Jews to the President and send it on to your personal networks.

B'shalom,
Marcia Freedman, President


Text of Message #2 to the President:

Dear Mr. President,

We are American Jews who care deeply about Israel and seek a negotiated resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We commend you and Secretary of State Rice on your support in reaching the current cease-fire, and we applaud other steps that are being taken by both sides, by the European community, and by you to restart the peace process outlined in the Road Map to Peace.

We now ask that you take the next steps:

Call upon the Palestinian Authority to use the cease-fire to take concrete steps toward

  • controlling militant factions, including merging all armed militias into a unified security force under civilian control,
  • eliminating arms smuggling into the Palestinian territories, and
  • closing down facilities used to manufacture weapons.

Call upon Israel to:

  • halt all settlement expansion activities,
  • halt further work on the security barrier over the green line pending full public disclosure of the planned re-routing,
  • suspend home demolitions, and
  • suspend all new construction initiatives being developed for East Jerusalem.

All recent surveys indicate that the Israeli and Palestinian people are calling upon their leaders to “seek peace, and pursue it” (bakesh shalom v'radfehu). The American Jewish community asks no less of its government, whose leadership and even-handed stewardship of the Road Map to Peace is essential if Israelis and Palestinians are to get what they both want: a mutually agreed upon settlement and a permanent peace.

Sign this message!


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
info@btvshalom.org
www.btvshalom.org


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