Brit Tzedek released the following press release yesterday, November 13, 2006, in response to the meeting between President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Jewish Peace Group Disappointed by Lack of Progress in Bush-Olmert Meeting

CHICAGO--In a statement released today, Marcia Freedman, president of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the country's largest and most vibrant grassroots Jewish peace organization, expressed profound concern over the lack of progress made in the meeting today between President George Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert.

"President Bush and Prime Minister Olmert sound as if nothing has happened to change their worldviews in recent months, despite the fact that Israelis are still reeling from their recent failed military policy in Lebanon, and U.S. voters have overwhelmingly rejected President George Bush's Middle East policy."

"If ever there was a moment for a daring U.S. diplomatic initiative to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is now. President Bush, together with Prime Minister Olmert, can forge their legacies in the region with an historic contribution to regional stability, global security, and international peace."

"If ever there was a moment for a daring U.S. diplomatic initiative to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is now."
Last week, Americans, including an overwhelming number of American Jews, demanded that their government chart a new course in the Middle East, and likewise, Israeli citizens are rejecting the isolationism of their government, with 67% believing that Israel should negotiate with a Palestinian unity government. Yet meeting today, even as their constituencies vehemently demand change, these two embattled leaders, President Bush and Prime Minister Olmert, appear perfectly satisfied with the status quo.

For the past six years, the Bush Administration has failed the people of the region and we who support their quest for peace with security. It is totally insufficient to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through occasional diplomatic gestures that produce no concrete results; Brit Tzedek calls on the U.S. Government to take action.

Both the need and the opportunity for action are urgent. The opportunity has been created by the anticipated formation of a Palestinian unity government and by President Bush's entry into the final years of his Administration, when he should be willing to take political initiative to carve out his presidential imprint. The need arises from daily increasing violence and loss of life in Gaza that enflames and threatens to engulf the entire region in war, the potential for disaster which we witnessed this summer in Lebanon. Brit Tzedek calls for vigorous U.S. diplomatic intervention to reach an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, as well as the release of kidnapped Israeli soldiers and the cessation of Qassam rockets fired into southern Israel by Palestinian militants. The conflict can only be resolved by immediate U.S. leadership to engage Israelis and Palestinians in ending this crisis and bringing back all parties to the negotiating table. This is what the American people are calling on President Bush to do.

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace, is a national grassroots movement more than 35,000 strong, that educates and mobilizes American Jews in support of a negotiated two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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

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