Implementation of Israeli Cabinet Decision to Expand Maale Adumim Could Undermine the Peace Process

Dear friends of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom,

Israel’s security and future well-being depend on reaching a negotiated agreement with the Palestinian Authority with respect to final borders and the status of Jerusalem. The evacuation of the Gaza settlements is widely viewed internationally as “Gaza first,” the important initial step in a peace process that most Israelis, Palestinians and Americans support.

In a recent interview, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that Israeli explanations of their plan to add 3,500 housing units to Maale Adumim were “not really a satisfactory response” to a move that she described as being “at odds with American policy..full stop.”

Tell the Bush Administration and Congress that as an American Jew who supports Israel, you believe that implementation of the recent Israeli cabinet decision to expand Maale Adumim westward would pose a major obstacle to peace.

Although Maale Adumim, within its current perimeter, is one of the large settlement blocs that would most likely be included in Israel as part of a final status agreement, the expansion of Maale Adumim westward to East Jerusalem would complete the "envelope" of Israeli neighborhoods and settlements surrounding Arab East Jerusalem. This would cut off any territorial contiguity between the 250,000 Palestinians residents of the city and the rest of the West Bank. The Palestinian leadership has made it clear that there can be no Palestinian state without East Jerusalem as its capital; Israel’s decision to authorize completion of the “envelope” around East Jerusalem, therefore, seriously prejudices future negotiations and undermines the prospect of reaching a two-state solution.

We urge you to call or send a message to the President and to your congressional representatives, asking the U.S. government to bring all pressure to bear on Israel to immediately halt plans to expand Maale Adumim, as well as all other settlement expansion activity, in compliance with Israel’s prior commitments under the Road Map to Peace.

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

B’shalom,

Steve Masters, Chair of Advocacy and Public Policy
Diane Balser, Vice President and Co-Chair of Advocacy and Public Policy 


Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
President George W. Bush
cc: Your Senators, Your Congressional Representative

Sample Letter:

Subject: No to Maale Adumim Expansion

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

As an American Jew, I support your administration's call to the Israeli government to immediately reverse its plans to expand the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim westward to Arab East Jerusalem. This proposed expansion is not only “at odds with American policy,” according to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, but also threatens to jeopardize the prospects for the negotiated, two-state resolution that the majority of Israelis, Palestinians and American Jews desire.

This plan violates the Israeli government pledge to the U.S. government to freeze all settlement expansion as part of its commitment to the Road Map. Furthermore, this expansion of Maale Adumim would complete the "envelope" of Israeli neighborhoods and settlements surrounding Arab East Jerusalem. This would cut off any territorial contiguity between the 250,000 Palestinian residents of the city and the rest of the West Bank. The Palestinian leadership has made it clear that there can be no Palestinian state without East Jerusalem as its capital. Israel's decision to authorize completion of the "envelope" around East Jerusalem, therefore, seriously prejudices future negotiations and undermines the prospect of reaching a two-state solution.

I therefore respectfully urge you to bring all pressure to bear on Israel to immediately halt plans to expand Maale Adumim as well as all other settlement expansion activity, in compliance with Israel's commitments under the Road Map to Peace.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

cc:
Your Congressperson
Your Senators

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What's At Stake:
American Jews must let President Bush hear their support for U.S. government pressure on Israel to cancel plans to expand the Israeli settlement Maale Adumim westward to East Jerusalem.
 

This construction plan would complete the "envelope" of Israeli neighborhoods and settlements surrounding Arab East Jerusalem, cutting off its contiguity with the West Bank. It therefore seriously prejudices future negotiations and undermines the prospect of reaching a two-state solution. This, and other settlement expansion activity, is in violation of commitments Israel made to the U.S. regarding the Road Map.

It is crucial that the U.S. government bring all pressure to bear on Israel to immediately halt these plans, as well as all other settlement expansion activity.

Additional Links:

Los Angeles Times Interview with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2005

U.S. Envoys Press Sharon on West Bank Construction, by The Associated Press. Haaretz, March 23, 2005

Palestinian Urges U.S. to Oppose an Israeli Plan, by Greg Myre. New York Times, March 25, 2005

One Step Back in the Mideast, Editorial. New York Times, March 23, 2005

Maps of Jerusalem and the surrounding area including Maale Adumim from the Boston Globe and of boundaries proposed in the Geneva Accord from Heskem

Campaign Expiration Date:
April 2, 2005


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