Thanks to your advocacy, 135 Representatives signed on to the Ackerman-Boustany letter - more than on any previous pro-Israel, pro-peace letter in years! 

Brit Tzedek will be sending out a "thank you" action alert soon.  For your information, the original email is below, including the full text of the letter and final list of signers. Thanks again!

CALL YOUR REP. TODAY!

Call Your Representative:
(202) 224-3121
[capitol switchboard - just ask for your Rep.]

Urge him/her to sign the Ackerman-Boustany letter to Sec. Rice today!

SAMPLE SCRIPT:

Hi, my name is [first name] [last name] from [hometown], [state]. As a Jewish constituent who supports Israel, I urge the Representative to sign the Ackerman-Boustany letter to Secretary Rice, commending her efforts to reinvigorate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by convening the Annapolis conference this fall. The letter closes for signatures this Friday.

I greatly hope that the Representative will sign this pro-Israel, pro-peace letter.  If possible, can you send me a written response regarding the Representative’s position on the letter? Thank you.

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

[see below for the full text of the letter, current signers, and press coverage]

Call on Congress to Support the Annapolis Peace Conference!

Dear Friend of Brit Tzedek,

Great news! Representatives Gary Ackerman (D-NY) and Charles Boustany (R-LA) are circulating a sign-on letter to Secretary Rice commending her efforts to reinvigorate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by convening an international conference this fall and calling for additional steps to ensure its success.  [see full text below]  

Your help is needed!  Pro-peace, pro-Israel constituents need to persuade additional Members of Congress to sign on to the letter and demonstrate wide-spread Congressional support for Israeli-Palestinian peace and the Annapolis conference.

Please call now! The letter closes for signatures on Friday, November 16th.  Call your Representative and urge him/her to sign the Ackerman-Boustany letter today!

Interestingly, the letter’s chief cosponsors are a Jewish-American and an Arab-American: Rep. Gary Ackerman, a Democrat from New York (who is also the chair of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East), and Rep. Charles Boustany, a Republican from Louisiana, respectively.  Their joint leadership on this letter represents the first Jewish/Arab-led Congressional letter on Israeli-Palestinian peace in years, if ever!

The Ackerman-Boustany letter calls for "robust, hands-on U.S. leadership and diplomacy" and states that "resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, through the establishment of two states for two peoples, is too important not to seize the opportunities that have emerged over the past weeks."

The letter further calls for increased U.S. and international aid to the Palestinians to increase government accountability, public safety, job creation, housing projects, and economic development. It notes that these efforts, in addition to Israeli efforts to release Palestinian tax monies and to improve “movement and access” in the Palestinian territories, can help create an atmosphere more conducive to diplomatic moves and preserve the possibilities for success.

Call your Representative and urge him/her to sign the Ackerman-Boustany letter to Secretary Rice today!

B’shalom,

Sue Swartz, Chair of Advocacy
Diane Balser, 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 Congressional district, just have them call (202) 224-3121 and ask for their own Representative).


Full Text of Ackerman-Boustany Letter
PDF of letter

Dear Madam Secretary:

We are writing to both commend you for your efforts to reinvigorate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by convening an international meeting this fall and to respectfully suggest that additional measures by the United States in the near term will be necessary to preserve the possibility of success.

As do you, we believe the coming months represent a critical opportunity to stabilize the region by advancing a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians -- and perhaps a comprehensive opening of Israeli relations with the Arab world. However, it is equally clear that a still-born initiative could set back prospects for peace, destabilize regional allies, and exacerbate an already volatile situation in the Middle East

Clearly, robust, hands-on U.S. leadership and diplomacy are necessary to frame not only on what transpires at the meeting, but on what takes place before and after it. But dialogue and encouragement of the parties will not, by themselves, be sufficient. As you have made clear, the Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, has emerged as a viable partner for U.S. peace efforts. The situation confronting them, however, is desperate.

Accordingly, we urge you to consider a reorientation of U.S. project-focused assistance programs. The immediate needs of the Palestinian people are for clean government, public order, economic opportunity, and salaried employment. U.S. assistance should be used—and should be designed to leverage international support—for financial and personnel reforms in the Palestinian Authority, for housing or other labor intensive projects, for the effective operation of a Palestinian police force and an independent Palestinian judiciary, and for long-term economic development and job creation programs. Addressing corruption and public safety in the P.A., while continuing to engage with Israel to coordinate a remittance schedule for Palestinian tax monies and to improve access and movement, will ensure that assistance will be effective in reviving the Palestinian economy and creating the atmosphere of hope required for the success of diplomatic efforts.

In this regard, we recognize that in this critical moment, and with the current Palestinian leadership, current levels of U.S. assistance are insufficient to leverage either real change and improvement by the Palestinian Authority, or more robust support by the international community. The United States should take the lead in organizing international assistance to the Palestinian Authority which is not only consistent with the principles described above, but would suffice to cover the legitimate budgetary needs of the Palestinian Authority until it is able to muster its own resources.

U.S. assistance, though of vital importance, must be supported by a regional consensus. The current oil boom, aggressive Iranian efforts to establish hegemony and the extra-legal takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas, all lend salience to your efforts to positively engage the Arab states in efforts to make peace. In concert with others, we can not allow the financial asphyxiation of the Palestinian Authority, particularly while some continue to provide or allow funding of Hamas. The extraordinary efforts being made by the President and yourself are more likely to succeed if our regional partners are working together with us.

Madam Secretary, resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, through the establishment of two states for two peoples, is too important not to seize the opportunities that have emerged over the past weeks. With aggressive multilateral diplomacy led by the United States, we believe the meeting in November could mark an important turning point. We look forward to working with you to ensure that it is a success.

Sincerely,


Final list of signers to the Ackerman-Boustany Letter, updated 11/16/07 (135)

Rep. State Party
Ackerman NY D
Alexander LA R
Allen ME D
Altmire PA D
Arcuri NY D
Baird WA D
Baker LA R
Baldwin WI D
Berman CA D
Bishop, Sanford GA D
Blumenauer OR D
Bonner AL R
Bordallo GU D
Boswell IA D
Boustany LA R
Boyd FL D
Braley IA D
Brown, Corinne FL D
Capps CA D
Capuano MA D
Cardoza CA D
Carnahan MO D
Carney PA D
Carson IN D
Coble NC R
Cohen TN D
Conaway TX R
Conyers MI D
Costa CA D
Courtney CT D
Crowley NY D
Davis, Geoff KY R
Davis, Susan CA D
Delahunt MA D
DeLauro CT D
Dicks WA D
Dingell MI D
Doggett TX D
Doyle PA D
Ellison MN D
Faleomavaega AS D
Farr CA D
Fattah PA D
Ferguson NJ R
Filner CA D
Fortenberry NE R
Frank MA D
Garrett NJ R
Gilchrest MD R
Gillibrand NY D
Gonzalez TX D
Grijalva AZ D
Gutierrez IL D
Hall NY D
Hastings, Alcee FL D
Higgins NY D
Hill IN D
Hinojosa TX D
Hodes NH D
Holt NJ D
Honda CA D
Inslee WA D
Issa CA R
Jackson IL D
Jackson Lee TX D
Jefferson LA D
Johnson, Hank GA D
Kaptur OH D
Kennedy RI D
Kildee MI D
Kucinich OH D
Kuhl NY R
LaHood IL R
Langevin RI D
Lantos CA D
Larsen WA D
Larson CT D
Lee CA D
Lewis GA D
LoBiondo NJ R
Loebsack IA D
Lynch MA D
Maloney NY D
Markey MA D
Matheson UT D
McCarthy, Carolyn NY D
McCollum MN D
McDermott WA D
McGovern MA D
McNerney CA D
McNulty NY D
Meeks NY D
Melancon LA D
Michaud ME D
Miller, Brad NC D
Miller, George CA D
Moore, Dennis KS D
Moore, Gwen WI D
Moran VA D
Murphy, Christopher CT D
Neal MA D
Norton DC D
Olver MA D
Pascrell NJ D
Pastor AZ D
Payne NJ D
Price, David NC D
Putnam FL R
Rahall WV D
Rangel NY D
Rodriguez TX D
Sarbanes MD D
Schakowsky IL D
Schiff CA D
Scott, Bobby VA D
Scott, David GA D
Sestak PA D
Sires NJ D
Smith, Adam WA D
Smith, Christopher NJ R
Solis CA D
Stark CA D
Sutton OH D
Thompson, Mike CA D
Tierney MA D
Tsongas MA D
Tubbs Jones OH D
Van Hollen MD D
Velazquez NY D
Wasserman Schultz FL D
Watson CA D
Waxman CA D
Welch VT D
Woolsey CA D
Wynn MD D


Press Coverage:

9 Jewish Democrats Urge P.A. Aid Boost. JTA. Nov 12, 2007.

Push for Annapolis summit triggers slew of Jewish lobbying efforts, by Ron Kampeas. JTA. Nov 9, 2007.

New Coalition Promotes Israeli-Palestinian Peace on Capitol Hill, by MJ Rosenberg.  TPMCafe.com.  Oct 27, 2007.

Ackerman, Boustany team on P.A. support. JTA. Oct 22, 2007.

Bush: Riyadh working to fight terror, by Hilary Krieger. Jerusalem Post. Oct 21, 2007.

Ackerman Supports Annapolis Summit, by James D. Besser. NY Jewish Week. Oct 17, 2007.


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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