Join Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
on Sunday, December 10 at 2pm EST for a Town Hall
Conference Call on "The Baker-Hamilton Commission and its
Implications for Arab-Israeli Peace" with Mara Rudman, former
deputy national security advisor to President Clinton.
Click here for call details.
Click here for the complete
Baker-Hamilton Commission report.
Click here for excerpts from the Baker-Hamilton
Commission report related to Arab-Israeli peace.
BRIT TZEDEK V'SHALOM LAUDS
Chicago - Marcia Freedman, president
of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and
Peace, praised the recommendations of the Baker-Hamilton report
regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as "a victory" for
the American Jewish peace movement. The report's findings
validate Brit Tzedek's longstanding position that direct
negotiations based on the principle of "land for peace" and the
establishment of a just and viable Palestinian state are the
only means for meeting Israel's security needs in the
In response to the report's release this morning,
"The Baker-Hamilton report's incisive and timely
call for 'sustained' US political leadership in facilitating a
comprehensive resolution to both the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict and the larger Israeli-Arab conflict is a victory for
the American Jewish peace movement. We call on President
Bush to immediately reverse his longstanding and dangerous
policy of inaction and to enact the Commission's recommendations
by promoting bilateral and multi-lateral regional negotiations,
for which the willingness to participate is the sole
The Baker-Hamilton Commission is to be lauded for
recognizing that there is no military solution to the
Israeli-Arab conflict. Most importantly, the report
restores the starting point of negotiations as U.N. resolutions
242 and 338, setting forth the basis of negotiations as 'and for
peace and the end point as the establishment of a just
Palestinian state alongside Israel.' Finally, the Baker-Hamilton
report creates a framework for the start of direct negotiations
with Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians that are goal-driven
and not encumbered by unrealistic prerequisites for diplomatic
The conflagration last summer between Israel and
Hezbollah provides important evidence not only of the report's
findings that 'when the political process breaks down there will
be violence on the ground,' but also of the capacity of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict to spark further violence that
could engulf the entire region.
We stand behind the Commission members' commitment
to the idea that no Administration will ever abandon Israel and
its understanding that 'The United States does its ally Israel
no favors in avoiding direct involvement to solve the
Arab-Israeli conflict.' We believe that the Baker-Hamilton
report offers a concrete proposal for critically rethinking what
is necessary to do in order to truly stand behind Israel in her
quest for peace and security and to achieve stability in the
broader Middle East."
Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for
Justice and Peace, is a national grassroots organization 35,000
strong, that educates and mobilizes American Jews in
support of a negotiated two-state resolution of the
TOWN HALL CONFERENCE CALL WITH MARA
Baker-Hamilton Commission and its Implications
Sunday, December 10 at 2:00 PM ET (1 CT/12
The Baker-Hamilton Commission,
formally known as the Iraq Study Group, released its report today.
The report's findings reaffirm Brit Tzedek's longstanding
conviction that direct negotiations are the only means to
achieve peace. Join Brit Tzedek for a call with Mara Rudman,
former deputy national security advisor to President Clinton, to
discuss the implications of the Commission's report on
JOIN: Dial 1-641-696-6699 within 5 minutes of the
call's designated start time and then enter the access code
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QUESTIONS: The presentation will be
followed by a question and answer session open to all
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Mara Rudman is currently a
Senior Partner at Quorum Strategies -
an internationally focused strategic consulting firm based in
Washington, D.C. - Mara Rudman has years of experience in
government and the private sector. She served most recently as
Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning at the Center for
American Progress, where she remains a Senior Fellow, focusing
on national security and foreign policy issues, with a
particular emphasis on the Middle East. Earlier, she was
Counselor, Vice President, and General Counsel at The Cohen
Previously, she was deputy
national security advisor to President Clinton where she
coordinated and directed activities within the National Security
Council and among the various federal departments and agencies
with defense and foreign policy responsibilities, and in that
capacity, played a role on Middle East peace efforts. From
1993-1997, she worked as chief counsel to the House
International Relations Committee Chairman Lee Hamilton. Prior
to her committee positions, Rudman was a litigation associate at
Hogan & Hartson. Early in her career, Rudman clerked for the
Honorable Stanley Marcus, now of the Eleventh Circuit, in the
Southern District of Florida.
Rudman serves on the board of
advisors of the Dickey Center for International Understanding at
Dartmouth College, as a member of the Aspen Institute Middle
East Strategy Group, and as an Aspen Institute Crown Fellow. She
is also a frequent media commentator, appearing on CNN, FOX,
BBC, NPR, and in print media. She received her Bachelor of Arts
degree from Dartmouth College summa cum laude and her
Juris Doctorate cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she was
the editor-in-chief of the Harvard Human Rights
EXCERPTS FROM THE BAKER-HAMILTON COMMISSION REPORT
RELATED TO ARAB-ISRAELI PEACE
From the Executive Summary:
The United States cannot achieve its goals in the Middle East
unless it deals directly with the Arab- Israeli conflict and
regional instability. There must be a renewed and sustained
commitment by the United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli
peace on all fronts: Lebanon, Syria, and President Bush's June
2002 commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and
Palestine. This commitment must include direct talks with, by,
and between Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians (those who accept
Israel's right to exist), and Syria...
From Section II, "A New Way Forward", Part A- "The
External Approach: Building an International Consensus"
1. The New Diplomatic Offensive
Iraq cannot be addressed effectively in isolation from other
major regional issues, interests, and unresolved conflicts. To
put it simply, all key issues in the Middle East--the
Arab-Israeli conflict, Iraq, Iran, the need for political and
economic reforms, and extremism and terrorism--are inextricably
linked. In addition to supporting stability in Iraq, a
comprehensive diplomatic offensive--the New Diplomatic
Offensive-- should address these key regional issues. By doing
so, it would help marginalize extremists and terrorists, promote
U.S. values and interests, and improve America's global image...
4. The Wider Regional Context
The United States will not be able to achieve its goals in
the Middle East unless the United States deals directly with the
There must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the
United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all
fronts: Lebanon, Syria, and President Bush's June 2002
commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.
This commitment must include direct talks with, by, and between
Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians (those who accept Israel's right
to exist), and particularly Syria--which is the principal
transit point for shipments of weapons to Hezbollah, and which
supports radical Palestinian groups.
The United States does its ally Israel no favors in avoiding
direct involvement to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. For
several reasons, we should act boldly:
- There is no military solution to this conflict.
- The vast majority of the Israeli body politic is tired of
being a nation perpetually at war.
- No American administration--Democratic or Republican--will
ever abandon Israel.
- Political engagement and dialogue are essential in the
Arab-Israeli dispute because it is an axiom that when the
political process breaks down there will be violence on the
- The only basis on which peace can be achieved is that set
forth in UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and in the
principle of "land for peace."
- The only lasting and secure peace will be a negotiated peace
such as Israel has achieved with Egypt and Jordan. This effort
would strongly support moderate Arab governments in the region,
especially the democratically elected government of Lebanon, and
the Palestinian Authority under President Mahmoud
RECOMMENDATION 13: There must be a renewed
and sustained commitment by the United States to a comprehensive
Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts: Lebanon and Syria, and
President Bush's June 2002 commitment to a two-state solution
for Israel and Palestine.
RECOMMENDATION 14: This effort should
include--as soon as possible--the unconditional calling and
holding of meetings, under the auspices of the United States or
the Quartet (i.e., the United States, Russia, European Union,
and the United Nations), between Israel and Lebanon and Syria on
the one hand, and Israel and Palestinians (who acknowledge
Israel's right to exist) on the other. The purpose of these
meetings would be to negotiate peace as was done at the Madrid
Conference in 1991, and on two separate tracks--one
Syrian/Lebanese, and the other Palestinian.
RECOMMENDATION 15: Concerning Syria, some
elements of that negotiated peace should be:
- Syria's full adherence to UN Security Council Resolution
1701 of August 2006, which provides the framework for Lebanon to
regain sovereign control over its territory.
- Syria's full cooperation with all investigations into
political assassinations in Lebanon, especially those of Rafik
Hariri and Pierre Gemayel.
- A verifiable cessation of Syrian aid to Hezbollah and the
use of Syrian territory for transshipment of Iranian weapons and
aid to Hezbollah. (This step would do much to solve Israel's
problem with Hezbollah.)
- Syria's use of its influence with Hamas and Hezbollah for
the release of the captured Israeli Defense Force
- A verifiable cessation of Syrian efforts to undermine the
democratically elected government of Lebanon.
- A verifiable cessation of arms shipments from or transiting
through Syria for Hamas and other radical Palestinian groups.
- A Syrian commitment to help obtain from Hamas an
acknowledgment of Israel's right to exist.
- Greater Syrian efforts to seal its border with Iraq.
RECOMMENDATION 16: In exchange for these
actions and in the context of a full and secure peace agreement,
the Israelis should return the Golan Heights, with a U.S.
security guarantee for Israel that could include an
international force on the border, including U.S. troops if
requested by both parties.
RECOMMENDATION 17: Concerning the
Palestinian issue, elements of that negotiated peace should
- Adherence to UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and
to the principle of land for peace, which are the only bases for
- Strong support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and
the Palestinian Authority to take the lead in preparing the way
for negotiations with Israel.
- A major effort to move from the current hostilities by
consolidating the cease-fire reached between the Palestinians
and the Israelis in November 2006.
- Support for a Palestinian national unity
- Sustainable negotiations leading to a final peace settlement
along the lines of President Bush's two- state solution, which
would address the key final status issues of borders,
settlements, Jerusalem, the right of return, and the end of
Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish Alliance
for Justice and Peaceinfo@btvshalom.org
11 E. Adams Street, Suite
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 341-1205
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