Tell Bush: Hamas-Israel Ceasefire Now!

Dear Friend of Brit Tzedek,

In the past week, Palestinian militants fired over 700 rockets into Israel -- killing one father of four, wounding many, and reaching as far as the city of Ashkelon -- and the Israeli military engaged in its largest operation in Gaza in two years, leaving over 100 Palestinians killed, including many civilians and children.

To prevent the violence from escalating even further, the U.S. must diplomatically intervene and call for a Hamas-Israel ceasefire now. Contact President Bush today!

Israel, like any country, has the right to self-defense. However, the strategy of military raids, coupled with the ongoing blockade on Gaza's borders, is not achieving its goal of securing Israel or undercutting Hamas.

There is one solution yet untried: a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.

A recent poll of Israelis found that 64% support direct talks with Hamas over a ceasefire and the return of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, and several Israeli military leaders have advocated exploring such talks, including former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy, former head of the Shin Bet Ami Ayalon, and former defense minister Shaul Mofaz.

A ceasefire is the only solution that has the potential to stop the Qassam rockets, prevent further IDF operations within Gaza, and end the terrible cycle of bloodshed.

As recently as this weekend, Hamas restated its desire for a truce with Israel, but as of yet, Israel has ignored the offer. The U.S. should encourage Israel to pursue ceasefire talks with Hamas (provided that such an agreement is binding on all militant groups), whether through back-channel talks, a neutral third party, or other means of indirect diplomacy.

To be successful in the long-term, a ceasefire must be followed by sustained U.S. engagement to maintain progress on Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations between Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas.  The blockade on Gaza must be lifted, and the U.S. must work with the international community to reopen Gaza's border crossings so as to permit the influx of humanitarian aid and supplies, while curbing the smuggling of weapons from Egypt.

The U.S. can no longer stand on the sidelines as chaos builds in and around Gaza. President Bush needs to hear from American Jews who recognize that a ceasefire is in Israel's best interests.

B'shalom,

Sue Swartz, Chair of Advocacy
Rob Levy, Washington Representative

PS. Please share this Action Alert with family, friends, and colleagues, and tell them about Brit Tzedek v'Shalom.


Send a letter to the following decision maker:
President George W. Bush

Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Support a Hamas-Israel ceasefire!

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

As an American Jew, I have been particularly disturbed by events of the past weeks. Palestinian militants fired over 700 rockets into Israel--killing one father of four, wounding many, and reaching as far as the city of Ashkelon--and the Israeli military engaged in its largest operation in Gaza in two years, leaving over 100 Palestinians killed, including many civilians and children.

Israel, like any country, has the right to self-defense. However, the strategy of military raids, coupled with the ongoing blockade on Gaza's borders, is not achieving its goal of securing Israel or undercutting Hamas.

There is one solution yet untried: a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. A ceasefire is the only solution that has the potential to stop the Qassam rockets, prevent further IDF operations within Gaza, and end the terrible cycle of bloodshed.

I strongly urge your Administration to encourage Israel to pursue ceasefire talks with Hamas (provided that such an agreement is binding on all militant groups), whether through back-channel talks, a neutral third party, or other means of indirect diplomacy.

To be successful in the long-term, a ceasefire should also be followed by sustained U.S. engagement to maintain progress on Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations between Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas. The blockade on Gaza should be lifted, and the U.S. should work with the international community to reopen Gaza's border crossings so as to permit the influx of humanitarian aid and supplies, while curbing the smuggling of weapons from Egypt.

The U.S. can no longer stand on the sidelines as chaos builds in and around Gaza. I urge you to diplomatically intervene now and call for a Hamas-Israel ceasefire.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Take Action!

Click here to demand that the U.S. call for a Hamas-Israel ceasefire now!

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What's At Stake?

President Bush needs to hear from American Jews who believe that Israel's peace and security depends upon a political solution to the crisis affecting Gaza and southern communities in Israel. Please urge President Bush to:

  • Call for a Hamas-Israel ceasefire to prevent further escalation of violence in and around Gaza.
  • Stay engaged to keep Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations on track
  • Lift the complete blockade on Gaza
  • Find a solution to reopen the border crossings into Gaza for humanitarian supplies

Contact Bush today!

Additional links

Talk to Hamas, by Nehemia Shtrasler.  Haaretz.  Mar 4, 2008.

Poll: Most Israelis back direct talks with Hamas, by Yossi Verter. Haaretz.  Feb 27, 2008. 

Encountering Peace: To save lives - negotiate with the devil, by Gershon Baskin. Jerusalem Post. Feb 25, 2008.

Former Israeli intelligence chief Efraim Halevy explains why he advocates talks with Hamas, by Laura Rozen.  Mother Jones. Feb 19, 2008.


 Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
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Phone: (312) 341-1205
Fax: (312) 341-1206
info@btvshalom.org
www.btvshalom.org


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