CALL YOUR REP. TODAY!

CALL YOUR REP. TODAY!

Call Your Representative:
(202) 224-3121

[capitol switchboard - just ask for your Rep.]

Urge him/her to sign the Price-LaHood letter on Israeli-Palestinian Peace today!

View the Current List of Signers

SAMPLE SCRIPT:

Hi, my name is [name] from [hometown], [state]. As a Jewish constituent, I urge the Representative to sign the Price-LaHood letter to President Bush, calling on the President to reinvigorate Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking and pursue efforts to end the crisis in southern Israel and Gaza.   

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.

Call today! The letter closes for signatures on Monday, May 12th.

[see below for the full text of the letter]

Call Today: Ask YOUR Rep to Promote Israeli-Palestinian Peace on Israel's 60th!

Dear Friend of Brit Tzedek,

Next week President Bush travels to the Middle East and will celebrate Israel's 60th birthday.  Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Ray LaHood (R-IL) have a perfect birthday gift idea: reinvigorate Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking! 

The Price-LaHood sign-on letter to President Bush is the first constructive, pro-peace Congressional initiative to address the ongoing violence in Gaza and southern Israel.  It calls on the President to prevent the crisis from undermining progress on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks by urging efforts to achieve a Hamas-Israel ceasefire and an end to the Gaza blockade.  [see full text below]

Time is short - please call now! The letter closes for signatures on Monday, May 12th.  Call your Representative and urge him/her to sign the Price-Lahood letter today!

The letter proposes serious solutions to end the violence, addresses the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, and maintain progress on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Specifically, the Price-LaHood letter urges President Bush to:

  • Continue to condemn rocket attacks on southern Israel
  • End the Gaza blockade and open border crossings into Gaza
  • Address the smuggling of weapons into Gaza
  • Explore a Hamas-Israel ceasefire, most likely mediated by third parties (such as with current efforts by Egypt)

It recognizes that "without such solutions, popular support for the peace process among both Israelis and Palestinians will suffer, and moderate Palestinian leadership in the West Bank... will be threatened."

The Price-LaHood offers serious solutions to end the crisis in Gaza and southern Israel and maintain progress towards peace.  Call your Representative and urge him/her to sign the Price-LaHood letter on Israeli-Palestinian peace today!

L’shalom,

Sue Swartz, 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 Price-LaHood Letter
PDF of letter

May XX, 2008

Dear Mr. President:

We write to express our deep concern over the ongoing crisis in southern Israel and Gaza.  We fear that the status quo, with its constant threat of a new eruption of terror and violence, can too easily derail progress toward achieving an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement in 2008. 

So far this year, nearly one thousand rockets have been fired by Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups from the Gaza Strip into Israel -- intentionally aimed at residential communities in southern Israel such as Sderot, and reaching as far as the city of Ashkelon. We strongly condemn these attacks and support Israel's right to self defense.

We recognize, too, that many Palestinian civilians and children have been killed and wounded in Israel's military operations in Gaza targeted at Hamas and other militant groups. In addition, the blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel in order to put pressure on Hamas is exacerbating an already grave humanitarian situation.   In this climate, popular support for Hamas remains strong while the credibility of the current Israeli-Palestinian peace talks is weakened. 

We are concerned that unless something changes, progress toward an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement will continually be hampered by the violence in southern Israel and Gaza.  We believe that for the peace process to be viable, solutions must be found to stabilize the Gaza situation, preserve the achievements made in peace talks, and maintain forward momentum.  Without such solutions, popular support for the peace process among both Israelis and Palestinians will suffer, and moderate Palestinian leadership in the West Bank, led by President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, will be threatened.

Without doubt, any solution to the crisis in southern Israel and Gaza must include unequivocal international condemnation of the rocket attacks, including from Arab states.  We support and encourage your efforts to reach such an international consensus through the appropriate forums. 

Furthermore, any solution must end the Gaza blockade in a secure and timely manner, including the possible re-opening of the Egypt-Gaza border crossing under Palestinian Authority control.  Any solution will need to address the smuggling of weapons and materials from Egypt into Gaza.  We urge you to work actively with Egypt, Israel, and, where appropriate, the international community, to find solutions to this border challenge that address Israel's security needs, provide relief to the people of Gaza, and create a climate more conducive to a successful peace process.

Finally, we believe that any solution to the current situation should include exploration of a potential ceasefire, mediated most likely by third parties or even by President Abbas. Recent polling data suggests strong support for such measures among Israelis.  In fact, a poll conducted by Tel Aviv University and the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz in February 2008 found that 64% of Israelis support efforts to achieve an Israel-Hamas ceasefire. 

We are not arguing for direct engagement with Hamas by Israel or the U.S.  Hamas is a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization sworn to Israel's destruction.  Moreover, such engagement could undermine Palestinian moderates.  We also recognize the difficulties of reaching and sustaining a ceasefire, and the need to guard against a ceasefire becoming simply an opportunity for Hamas to rearm.  For this reason, a ceasefire cannot be an end in itself.  Rather, a ceasefire has the potential to halt the rocket attacks on Israeli civilians and prevent the need for further Israeli military operations in Gaza for the immediate term. It can then create the space necessary to help keep the peace negotiations on track, to enable the return of kidnapped Israeli soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit, to address the smuggling of weapons from Egypt into Gaza, and to facilitate improvements in the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

We strongly support Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and believe their success is deeply connected to the national security interests of the United States.  As you continue your critically important efforts to achieve progress on implementing the Roadmap, including issues like security, movement and access, and economic development in the West Bank, we urge you to consider the recommendations outlined in this letter.  We look forward to working with you in your efforts to bring stability and peace to the Middle East.

Sincerely,


Current signers of the Price-LaHood letter (as of 5/9/08):

  1. Blumenauer (D-OR)
  2. Boswell (D-IA)
  3. Boustany (R-LA)
  4. Capps (D-CA)
  5. Capuano (D-MA)
  6. Coble (R-NC)
  7. Conyers (D-MI)
  8. Davis, Susan (D-CA)
  9. DeFazio (D-OR)
  10. Doggett (D-TX)
  11. Doyle (D-PA)
  12. Ellison (D-MN)
  13. Faleomavaega (D-AS)
  14. Farr (D-CA)
  15. Fattah (D-PA)
  16. Hinchey (D-NY)
  17. Issa (R-CA)
  18. Jones (D-OH)
  19. Kucinich (D-OH)
  20. LaHood (R-IL)
  21. Lee (D-CA)
  22. Lynch (D-MA)
  23. McCollum (D-MN)
  24. McDermott (D-WA)
  25. McGovern (D-MA)
  26. Moore, Gwen (D-WI)
  27. Moran, Jerry (R-KS)
  28. Moran, Jim (D-VA)
  29. Oberstar (D-MN)
  30. Olver (D-MA)
  31. Price (D-NC)
  32. Rahall (D-WV)
  33. Rangell (D-NY)
  34. Rodriguez (D-TX)
  35. Smith (D-WA)
  36. Tierney (D-MA)
  37. Wamp (R-TN)
  38. Welch (D-VT)


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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