CALL THE SENATE NOW!

Call your Senators at:
202-224-3121

[capitol switchboard - just ask for your Senator]

Urge them to cosponsor the Feinstein/Lugar resolution on Israeli-Palestinian peace today!

[See the cosponsorship list below to find out if your senator has already signed on]

SAMPLE SCRIPT:

Hi, my name is [name] from [hometown]. As a Jewish constituent who supports Israel, I urge the Senator to cosponsor the Feinstein/Lugar resolution on Israeli-Palestinian peace, the updated version of S.Res.224.

This bi-partisan pro-Israel, pro-peace resolution calls for active U.S. engagement to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It currently has 35 cosponsors and is scheduled to move this week.  I urge the Senator to sign on today!

If possible, can you please send me a written response regarding the Senator’s position? Thank you.

After you have called, please let us know at dcoffice@btvshalom.org

[See below for updated text and current cosponsors]

Dear Friend of Brit Tzedek,

Exciting news! We have just learned that the Feinstein/Lugar resolution on Israeli-Palestinian peace may be passed in the Senate before this week is out. This is wonderful news, and it means that calls from Brit Tzedek activists could really make a difference. The time is short, so please call to get more cosponsors immediately!  

Please call your Senators and urge them to cosponsor the Feinstein/Lugar resolution on Israeli-Palestinian peace today!

The Feinstein/Lugar resolution is a bi-partisan pro-peace, pro-Israel resolution that calls for active U.S. engagement to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [see current cosponsors and updated text below]. It represents a sharp departure from the usual language in resolutions about Israel and the Palestinians and more closely echoes the pro-peace, pro-Israel positions shared by Brit Tzedek and the vast majority of American Jews. 

This resolution calls on President Bush to make a two-state solution a “top priority,” urges him to appoint a Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, and welcomes the Arab League Peace Initiative.  The resolution states clearly that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “in the vital interests of the United States, Israel, and the Palestinian people” and that “achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace could have significant impacts on security and stability in the region.”

While the current prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians may look bleak, the debate in Washington around this issue is changing for the better thanks to the hard work of all of you.  The U.S. Senate has never before passed such a positive, proactive resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we need as many cosponsors as possible before it does.  Please call the Senate today!

B'shalom,

Diane Balser, Chair of Advocacy
Steve Masters, Co-Chair of Advocacy
Rob Levy, Washington Representative

PS. Please share this Action Alert with family, friends, and colleagues  (and if you forward to friends in a different state, just have them call (202) 224-3121 and ask for their own Senator).


Current Senate cosponsors of the Feinstein/Lugar resolution (35):

CA: Feinstein 
CT: Dodd 
HI: Akaka 
IA: Harkin
ID: Craig
IL: Durbin
IN: Lugar
FL: Nelson
MA: Kerry, Kennedy
ME: Snowe
MI: Levin, Stabenow
MN: Klobuchar
MS: Lott 
MT: Baucus 
NC: Burr 
NE: Hagel 
NH: Sununu 
NM: Bingamin 
OH: Voinovich, Brown
OR: Wyden, Smith
PA: Casey 
RI: Reed, Whitehouse
TX: Hutchison
VA: Webb 
VT: Leahy
WA: Cantwell, Murray
WI: Kohl, Feingold
WV: Byrd


Full text of the Feinstein/Lugar resolution

Note: This resolution has been reintroduced from its original version (S.Res.224) to update the text regarding recent events in Gaza and the appointment of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as Quartet envoy.  The new bill number is not yet available, so please refer to it as the "Feinstein/Lugar resolution on Israeli-Palestinian peace," or the "updated version of S.Res.224."  The text below is from the updated bill.

RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Whereas ending the violence and terror that have devastated the State of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza since September 2000 is in the vital interests of the United States, Israel, and the Palestinian people;

Whereas the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict strengthens extremists and opponents of peace throughout the region;

Whereas more than 7 years of violence, terror, and military engagement have demonstrated that armed force alone will not solve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute;

Whereas the vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians want to put an end to decades of confrontation and conflict and live in peaceful coexistence, mutual dignity, and security, based on a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace;

Whereas on May 24, 2006, addressing a Joint Session of the United States Congress, Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert reiterated the Government of Israel's position that `In a few years, [the Palestinians] could be living in a Palestinian state, side by side in peace and security with Israel, a Palestinian state which Israel and the international community would help thrive';

Whereas, in his speech before the Palestinian Legislative Council on February 18, 2006, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said, `We are confident that there is no military solution to the conflict. Negotiations between us as equal partners should put a long-due end to the cycle of violence... Let us live in two neighboring states';

Whereas, in June 2002, the President of the United States presented his vision of `two states, living side by side in peace and security', and has since repeatedly reaffirmed this position;

Whereas events of the past 18 months, including the victory of Hamas in Palestinian legislative elections, the continued firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel, and the escalating intra-Palestinian violence and chaos, culminating in the June 2007 takeover of Gaza by Hamas, make the achievement of President Bush's vision even more difficult;

Whereas, on June 27, 2007, the Quartet (the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations) appointed former British Prime Minister Tony Blair special envoy to the Middle East with a focus on mobilizing assistance to the Palestinians and promoting economic development and institutional governance;

Whereas a robust and high-level American diplomatic presence on the ground is critical to bringing Israelis and Palestinians together to make the tough decisions necessary to achieving a permanent resolution to the conflict;

Whereas June 2007 marks the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War between Israel and a coalition of Arab states;

Whereas all parties should use the occasion of this anniversary to redouble their efforts to achieve peace; and

Whereas achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace could have significant positive impacts on security and stability in the region: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) reaffirms its commitment to a true and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the establishment of 2 states, the State of Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, and with recognized borders;

(2) denounces the use of violence and terror and reaffirms its unwavering commitment to Israel's security;

(3) calls on President Bush to pursue a robust diplomatic effort to engage the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, begin negotiations, and make a 2-state settlement a top priority;

(4) urges President Bush to consider appointing as Special Envoy for Middle East Peace an individual who has held cabinet rank or someone equally qualified, with an extensive knowledge of foreign affairs generally and the Middle East region in particular;

(5) calls on Hamas to recognize the State of Israel's right to exist, to renounce and end all terror and incitement, and to accept past agreements and obligations with the State of Israel;

(6) calls on moderate Arab states in the region to intensify their diplomatic efforts toward a 2-state solution and welcomes the Arab League Peace Initiative; and

(7) calls on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to embrace efforts to achieve peace and refrain from taking any actions that would prejudice the outcome of final status negotiations.


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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