For Israel's Sake, Active Support for PA Is Critical

Dear Friends of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom,

A critically important meeting between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. President Bush is about to take place. On Thursday, May 26th and in the weeks to come, decisions will be made about the extent of active U.S. support for Palestinian moderates. The future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may well hang in the balance.


Will the Gaza withdrawal be followed by peace negotiations toward a two-state solution? Or will the region once again become mired in protracted violence? Will Israel negotiate today with Abbas, or sometime in the indefinite future will it have to negotiate with Hamas? The President of the United States may well hold these decisions in his hands.

In the months since the Palestinian elections, the Palestinian Authority (PA) under President Abbas has implemented many of its prior commitments with regard to reform of the security services and actions to significantly reduce Palestinian violence. Both U.S. Security Envoy General William Ward and Israel's Director of Military Intelligence Major General Aharon Ze'evi agree that Abbas has taken significant steps in the right direction. According to Ward, he has unified often rival security services under one command and fired most senior security heads (Haaretz, May 18). Ze'evi said that despite recent claims that the PA was not doing enough to fight terrorists and abide by its Sharm el-Sheik commitments, Abbas is slowly reining in the militants (Haaretz, May 5).

Just months before the elections for the Palestinian Parliament, with Hamas a close rival for power, Abbas must succeed in winning significant American support, in particular direct financial assistance.

Israel's well-being and prospects for peace and security in the near future depend on the ability of the PA to function as an effective peace partner. This, in turn, depends in large part on the commitments that the Bush administration is prepared make to President Abbas during his visit.


Call on President Bush to advance the peace process by providing support for--and constructive pressure on--the Palestinian Authority at this critical juncture, by:

* Actively monitoring the Israeli and Palestinian implementation of commitments made at the February 2005 Sharm el-Sheik summit;

* Supporting President Abbas' request for direct economic assistance for his administration;

* Making clear to President Abbas that he must do more to control Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, who have in recent weeks stepped up mortar attacks against settlements, but also recognizing his many achievements to date, including re-establishing the cease fire in Gaza.

Send a message to President Bush and your congressional representatives now.

Share this action alert with family, friends, and colleagues.

B'shalom,

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

We encourage you to take action by May 31, 2005.


Sample Letter:

To: President George W. Bush
CC: Your Senators, Your Congressional Representative

Subject: Active Support for Palestinian Authority Is Crucial

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

As an American Jew, I am heartened that the Palestinian Authority has implemented many of its prior commitments with regard to reform of the security services and actions to significantly reduce Palestinian violence.

With the upcoming visit of Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas to Washington, there is a particular opportunity for you to provide leadership to help advance the peace process. For this reason, I respectfully urge you to commit to:

* Actively monitoring the Israeli and Palestinian implementation of commitments made at the February 2005 Sharm el-Sheik summit;

* Supporting President Abbas' request for direct economic assistance for his administration;

* Making clear to President Abbas that he must do more to control Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, who have in recent weeks stepped up mortar attacks against settlements, but recognizing his many achievements to date, including re-establishing the cease fire in Gaza.

These steps could make the critical difference in making possible a peaceful, negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

cc:
Your Congressional Representative
Your Senators

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What's At Stake:
American Jews must let President Bush hear that active support for the Palestinian Authority (PA) is critically needed to make it possible for the PA to continue on the path of reforms that make it a viable partner for peace. Brit Tzedek v'Shalom calls on the President to commit to:

  • Actively monitoring the Israeli and Palestinian implementation of commitments made at Sharm el-Sheik;

  • Supporting President Abbas’ request for direct economic assistance for his administration;

  • Making clear to President Abbas that he must do more to control Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, who have in recent weeks stepped up mortar attacks against settlements, while recognizing his many achievements to date, including re-establishing the cease fire in Gaza.

Additional links:
"
Guarantees for Abu Mazen." Haaretz, May 24, 2005. 

"Mr. Abbas Goes to Washington: Can He Still Suceed?" Middle East Briefing #17. International Crisis Group, May 24, 2005.

"Israel’s Lawyer." By Aaron David Miller. Washington Post, May 23, 2005. 

"U.S. Split over Gesture to Abbas ahead of Talks." By Aluf Benn and Arnon Regular. Haaretz, May 22, 2005.

"Palestinian Militants Agree to Restore Truce in Gaza." By Steven Erlanger. New York Times, May 22, 2005.

"U.S. Security Envoy Ward Praises PA Reforms." By Reuters. Haaretz, May 18, 2005.

"MI Chief: Israel Is Not Facing Existential Nuclear Threat Today." By Haaretz Service. Haaretz, May 5, 2005. 

"Urging New Path, Sharon and Abbas Declare Truce." By Steven Erlanger. New York Times, February 9, 2005.

Campaign Expiration Date:
May 31, 2005


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