Gaza First, Not Gaza Last 

Contrary to the dire predictions of a few, and the doubts of many, the Israeli government has successfully evacuated and dismantled 21 settlements in Gaza and the West Bank. The world watched with admiration as nearly 9,000 Israelis with all their belongings were loaded on buses and trucks and removed from all of Gaza and four settlements in the West Bank within less than a week. Though there was lawful resistance in some cases, and lawless resistance in others, by far the great majority of the settlers left quietly and sedately. Their palpable sorrow and resentment was, of course, understandable, as they left homes and farms they had lived in and worked for decades.

In the build-up to the evacuation, it was apparent that the active engagement and almost daily involvement of the Bush administration at the highest levels was critical in ensuring that the evacuation and dismantling of settlements was coordinated with the Palestinian Authority.  Don't Let Gaza Fail! Sign on now.
 
Brit Tzedek's call for the appointment of a senior statesman representing the President and Secretary of State devoted to assist in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was prescient and has since been echoed by many, including Harvard University professor
Herbert C. Kelman
and Israeli foreign policy expert Nimrod Novik.
 
The need for a presidential envoy is even greater now in the post-disengagement period than before the pullout.
 
It is far from certain that Gaza will be a first step toward peace. There is an enormous amount of work ahead, not only for Israelis and Palestinians, but also American Jews and all others who support a negotiated two-state solution to the conflict.
 
Even in the short term, there are critical issues still to be resolved, the solutions to which will determine whether the disengagement is ultimately successful. Will the Palestinians be allowed to re-open their airport, build and operate a seaport, travel without undue restrictions and constraints between Gaza and Egypt, and Gaza and the West Bank? Who will collect and control Gazan tax and customs revenue? Who will control the borders?
 
Without addressing these short term issues, the longer-term questions of peace negotiations cannot be resolved.
 
In the past weeks, Brit Tzedek leaders have brought our call for the immediate appointment of an envoy to key Members of Congress. There is initial interest – we must turn this interest into a passionate demand .
 
If you haven't yet signed our "Don’t Let Gaza Fail!" Message to the President, do it now 
A copy of the Message will be sent to your congressional representatives as well as to the White House. Help us get the message across that standing for Israel means standing for peace.
 
Don’t let Gaza fail! You can, and should, make a difference.

B'Shalom,

Marcia Freedman                
President

Diane Balser
Chief Executive Officer

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
http://www.btvshalom.org


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