Unseal Gaza in the Name of a Peaceful and Secure Future for Israel 

Dear Friends of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom,

When the Administration calls for changes on the ground that would help both Palestinians and Israelis, we think they should be applauded — and now is such a time. Please thank the President and Secretary of State Rice for their recent statements on improving the mobility of Gaza residents and easing the flow of goods, and call for more concrete action to help make that happen.

The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt has been closed by Israel since before the Gaza disengagement, and Israel continues to severely restrict the passage of Palestinian workers and goods to Israel since the completion of its withdrawal. Gaza is thus cut off from its sources of wage and export income, and restricted in its ability to develop new economic links. The first crops from Gaza greenhouses transferred to the Palestinians will be harvested soon and will need to get to market.

Reconstruction of the Gaza economy is crucial for the possibility of building a stable Palestinian state that can be a viable partner for peace for Israel. Spurring job growth and a broader economic revival in Gaza is essential in order to ease the dangerous despair that has resulted from the drastic economic decline following the Israeli withdrawal. This cannot happen while Gaza is virtually cut off from the outside world. The longer this situation continues, the greater the threat to the future stability of Gaza, and therefore the future security and peace of Israel. Take Action Now!

We are glad to see that the Bush Administration has recognized this. During President Abbas' visit to the White House on October 20, the President said:

"It's important that we make quick progress on the issues that [Quartet Special Envoy] Jim [Wolfensohn] has identified as most critical for the Palestinian economy, including opening the Rafah crossing, connecting the West Bank [with] Gaza, improving the ability of Palestinians to travel in the West Bank, and beginning work on the Gaza seaport."

Secretary of State Rice followed up on October 25, stressing that the crossings issue must be resolved. President Bush needs to hear support for these statements from the American Jewish community, and a call for action to make movement on unsealing Gaza a reality. A visit to Gaza by the Secretary, as part of a high-profile trip to the region, would make a strong, visible statement.

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

The opportunity provided by the successful Gaza disengagement must not be wasted.
                                         
L'shalom,

Steve Masters and Paul Scham
Chair and Co-Chair of Advocacy and Public Policy

We encourage you to take action by NOVEMBER 7, 2005.


Sample Letter:

President George W. Bush
CC: Your Congressional Representative and Senators 

Subject: Unseal Gaza in the Name of a Peaceful and Secure Future for Israel

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

As an American Jew, I would like to thank you for your recent statements and for those of Secretary of State Rice on the necessity of improving the mobility of Gaza residents and trade goods.

Reconstruction of the Gaza economy is crucial for the possibility of building a stable Palestinian state that can be a viable partner for peace for Israel. This cannot happen while Gaza is virtually cut off from the outside world, which is currently the case.

I respectfully urge you take an active role in helping to bring about a swift improvement to the mobility of Gaza residents and goods, including opening the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, providing access between the West Bank and Gaza, and beginning work on the Gaza seaport. I hope this will include sending Secretary of State Rice to visit Gaza, in the context of a high-profile trip to the region, to make a clear statement on these issues.

Your leadership is needed on this issue now. The longer the current situation continues, the greater the threat to the future stability of Gaza, and therefore to the future security and peace of Israel. It is in the interest of the US as well as the people of the region that progress be made towards a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Sincerely,                                            

[Your Name]

cc: Your Congressional Representative and Senators

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Instructions:
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What's At Stake:
The President must hear from American Jews thanking him for his recent statements and for those of Secretary of State Rice on the importance of providing mobility to Gaza residents and trade goods, and urging him to take concrete steps to help make that happen, specifically regarding:

  • opening the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt;

  • providing access between the West Bank and Gaza;

  • beginning work on the Gaza seaport.
Please request that Secretary of State Rice be sent to the region in order to make a strong visible statement about the importance of Gaza's future to the peace process.

Mobility for Gazans is crucial to the future of Gaza's economy and stability. Gaza's stability is essential to the feasibility of a Palestinian state that can be a partner for peace to Israel, and provide Israel with a safe and secure future.

The opportunity provided by the successful Gaza disengagement must not be wasted.

Additional links:

Lift the Siege of Gaza, Editorial. Haaretz, 26 October 2005.

Rice Says Israel Should Open Its Borders, By Anne Gearan. Washington Post, 25 October 2005.

Bush Says Militias Hurt the Hopes of Palestinians, By Steven Weisman. International Herald Tribune, 20 October 2005.

Quartet Envoy Accuses Israel of Foot-Dragging over Gaza Border, By Amira Hass. Haaretz, 24 October 2005.

Troubled Season for Gaza's Greenhouses, By Joshua Mitnick. Christian Science Monitor, 26 October 2005.

Campaign Expiration Date:
November 7, 2005


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