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Rabbis' Letter Garners Nearly 400 Signatures!

Todah rabah (thank you very much) to the nearly 400 rabbis who signed the Letter from American Rabbis to the President and to all of our supporters who encouraged their rabbis to do so.

Organized by Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the letter was sent to the President on March 3, 2006 urging him "to maintain determination in the face of those who deny Israel's right to exist and, at the same time, to leave open the door for those Palestinians who are committed to working for a negotiated, two-state resolution of this conflict."  The letter urges the President to "constructively engage" with moderate Palestinians like President Abbas and to maintain urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people.

If your rabbi signed, please thank him or her for standing up for Israel and for peace.

The letter, along with the complete list of signers was printed in the March 10, 2006 edition of the Forward (see page 7).  View the pdf here.  Thank you to everyone who donated towards the purchase of the ad. 

The full text of the letter is below.  For more information on the letter, please visit the following links:

For more information, please email rabbisletter@btvshalom.org


Dear Mr. President:

As leaders of the American Jewish community, we are deeply troubled by the recent victory of Hamas in the Palestinian legislative elections. Hamas's charter calls for the destruction of Israel, and Hamas has repeatedly perpetrated horrific acts of terror and violence that target innocent civilians. Yet in this challenging hour, we urge you to maintain a cautious approach to the new Palestinian government, so as to preserve the future possibility of bringing Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table, which is the only path to achieve true peace and security for both peoples.

As you formulate U.S. policy towards these ends, we urge you to keep the following points in mind:

1) According to international observers, the Palestinians conducted a free, fair, and democratic election, something that is still too rare in this region.

2) Nevertheless, for the new Hamas-led Palestinian government to achieve international recognition and standing, it must "recognize Israel, disarm, reject terrorism, and work for lasting peace," just as you specified in your State of the Union address.

3) Despite Hamas's victory, recent polls indicate that the majority of Palestinians remains committed to a peace agreement with Israel. With this in mind, we urge constructive engagement with the new Palestinian government, in ways that bolster moderates such as President Mahmoud Abbas and sustain the ceasefire that has allowed for relative calm over the past year.

4) The immediate and short-term needs of the Palestinian people are pressing. We know that the deterioration in their plight only increases support for extremism, which, in turn, endangers Israel. Continued funding for indirect assistance to the Palestinian people via NGO's, with the appropriate conditions to ensure that it does not reach the hands of terrorists, is essential.

During this period of deep concern for the future of Israel, we call on you to maintain determination in the face of those who deny Israel's right to exist and, at the same time, to leave open the door for those Palestinians who are committed to working for a negotiated, two-state resolution of this conflict.


Sincerely,


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
www.btvshalom.org


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