Halt Israeli Establishment of New Facts on the Ground in Jerusalem

Dear Friends of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom,

Make your voice heard at this critical time.

We have watched with admiration and relief the successful completion of the Gaza disengagement in less than a week—far shorter than predicted. The Israeli government deserves credit for successfully implementing a bold decision.

Yet—as we had feared would happen in the aftermath of disengagement—in less than a week Israel has also taken major steps to consolidate its hold on the West Bank and Jerusalem.
 

Several months ago we called on you to speak out against the extension of the security barrier around the Israeli West Bank settlement Maale Adumim westward to East Jerusalem. As a result of U.S. government objections, the plan was put on the back burner. The plan—which would complete the "Jerusalem envelope," cutting off Arab East Jerusalem and its 250,000 Palestinian residents from the West Bank--has just been revived. The Israeli government has also broken the U.S. ban on building in this area by announcing plans to build a major police headquarters midway between Maale Adumim and East Jerusalem.

In addition, a Jerusalem municipal government office has just confirmed rumors that a Jewish settlement in the heart of the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem is in the planning stages.

The Palestinian leadership has made it clear that there can be no Palestinian state without East Jerusalem as its capital; President Bush has made it clear that there should be no construction in and around East Jerusalem without Palestinian consent. Israel's decision to authorize completion of the "envelope" around Jerusalem and to begin new construction, therefore, seriously prejudice future negotiations and undermines the prospect of reaching a two-state solution. Moreover, construction of a Jewish neighborhood in the Muslim Quarter would represent a direct provocation that could poison any chances for further steps toward the resumption of negotiations and possibly provoke violence.

We urge you to send a message to the President and your congressional representatives, asking the U.S. government to demand that Israel immediately halt planned construction around Jerusalem and in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, and instead undertake its commitments under the Road Map. The opportunity provided by the successful Gaza disengagement must not be wasted.
 

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

L'Shalom,
Steve Masters and Paul Scham
Chair and Co-Chair of Advocacy and Public Policy

We encourage you to take action by SEPTEMBER 19, 2005.
 


Sample Letter:

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

Subject: Oppose Israel Establishing New Facts on the Ground in Jerusalem

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

As an American Jew, I am disturbed to hear that, over U.S. government objections, the Israeli government has revived its plan to extend the security barrier around the Israeli West Bank settlement Maale Adumim westward to East Jerusalem, cutting off the 250,000 Palestinian residents of Arab East Jerusalem from the West Bank. In addition, in announcing plans to build a major police headquarters as well as a new Jewish neighborhood in the Muslim Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, the Israeli government has clearly violated U.S. policy barring any new settlement construction, including within and around Jerusalem without Palestinian consent.

Israel's decision to authorize completion of the "envelope" around East Jerusalem and to begin new construction will, as you have previously said, seriously prejudice future negotiations and undermines the prospect of reaching a two-state solution. Moreover, construction of a Jewish settlement in the Muslim Quarter would represent a direct provocation that could poison any chances for further steps toward the resumption of negotiations as well as provoke violence.

I therefore respectfully urge you to demand that Israel immediately halt planned construction around Jerusalem and in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, and instead, along with the Palestinian Authority, undertake its commitments under the Road Map. The opportunity provided by the recent successful Gaza disengagement must not be wasted.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

cc:
Your Congressperson
Your Senators

Take Action!

Instructions:
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What's At Stake:
American Jews must call on President Bush to ask that the U.S. government demand that Israel immediately halt expropriation of land for the extension of the security barrier around Maale Adumim towards Jerusalem, as well as any planned construction in that area and any plans for Jewish settlement in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem; rather, Israel, as well as the Palestinian Authority, must undertake their commitments under the Road Map.

 

Strong U.S. leadership is urgently needed to keep the parties on track toward a resumption of negotiations and a final status agreement. The voice of the American Jewish community is critical at this time. The opportunity provided by the successful Gaza disengagement must not be wasted.

Additional links:
Israel Confirms Plan to Seize West Bank Land for Barrier By Greg Myre. New York Times, August 25, 2005.

Israel Begins Building New Police Station East of Jerusalem By Aluf Benn. Haaretz, August 25, 2005.

Targeting the Old City's Muslim Quarter By Lara Friedman, with the assistance of Daniel Seidemann. From Foundation for Middle East Peace website, August 19, 2005.

Jerusalem Envelope Endangers Israel's Security By Sarah Kreimer. From Ir Amim website.

A Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. April 30, 2003.

Map of Jerusalem and the Surrounding Area Including the Proposed Expansion of Maale Adumim. Boston Globe.

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

Campaign Expiration Date:
September 19, 2005


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