Major DC Conference Update!  Brit Tzedek has just confirmed that Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA), dean of the Jewish House members, Congressman Charles Boustany (R-LA), chief Republican cosponsor of the Ackerman-Boustany letter on the Annapolis peace conference, and Congressman Mike Capuano (D-MA), a leading pro-Israel, pro-peace Member of Congress, will all address Brit Tzedek activists during the Congressional Reception at National Advocacy Days 2008!  You don't want to miss this.  Only two days left to register. Register today!

Grassroots Advocacy from Start to Finish
Op-eds by Brit Tzedek Rabbis Praising Price-LaHood Letter Demonstrate Power of Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace Advocacy

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When U.S. Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Raymond LaHood (R-IL) recently circulated a letter to President Bush in May signed by more than 50 members of Congress calling on him to reinvigorate Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking and find solutions to the crisis in Gaza and southern Israel, Brit Tzedek activists quickly mobilized support, helping it reach its final total of 52 cosponsors!

But pro-Israel, pro-peace advocacy means more than just asking our elected officials to sign on to positive efforts, it also means thanking them when they take strong, courageous stands for peace.  One example of this was the thank you action alert we sent out for constituents of the signers to the letter.

In a further example of supporting our champions, Rabbis John Friedman and Brant Rosen, both of Brit Tzedek’s Rabbinic Cabinet, wrote op-eds praising the letter’s chief co-sponsors that were published in newspapers in their respective districts. Excerpts of the two op-eds are included below.

With these efforts, we are proving to Members of Congress that when they take risks for peace, American Jews will stand behind them.  Indeed, Rep. Price’s office was so pleased by the op-ed that they sent out their own press release highlighting it!

And of course, the best way to thank your Rep for signing a Brit Tzedek-supported initiative (or asking them “why not?” if they didn’t) is to do it IN PERSON by joining us in Washington, DC for National Advocacy Days 2008! 

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The following are excerpts from op-eds commending Reps. Price and LaHood published in papers in their home districts. 


News & Observer (North Carolina Triangle main paper) – 5/23/08

Rabbi John Friedman of Durham, North Carolina and Rep. David Price of North Carolina's 4th District

An urgent need to get beyond nice words
By Rabbi John Friedman, Brit Tzedek Rabbinic Cabinet Chair

The United States must involve itself deeply in the peacemaking process, providing incentives for progress and disincentives for failure, mechanisms for enforcement and security arrangements for all, creating the kind of atmosphere that will allow the battered and weary Israeli and Palestinian governments to make the difficult compromises they will have to make. So far, none of this has been forthcoming.

This is not to suggest that no one in Washington grasps the immediacy of the issues. Our own 4th District U.S. representative, Democrat David Price, and his Republican colleague Illinois Rep. Ray LaHood circulated a letter signed by 50 other representatives, telling the president that "unless something changes, progress toward an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement will continually be hampered by the violence in southern Israel and Gaza" and urging him to seek ways to "stabilize the Gaza situation, preserve the achievements made in peace talks, and maintain forward momentum."

[view full op-ed]
[view Rep. Price’s press release highlighting this op-ed]

 


Peoria Journal Star – 5/31/08

Rabbi Brant Rosen of Evanston, Illinois and Rep. Ray LaHood of Illinois 18th District

Two-state solution is best for Israeli Jews
By Rabbi Brant Rosen, Brit Tzedek Rabbinic Cabinet

But as Israel marks its first 60 years, we cannot avoid a simple fact: If the immediate situation in and around Gaza remains unaddressed, there can be no progress in the peace process. If there is no progress in the peace process, the dream of Jewish independence in a Jewish state - a dream for which generations of Israelis have sacrificed their lives - will be lost.

Sixty years, six major wars and endless rounds of armed attrition after the United Nation voted to partition the land, partition remains the only solution to the conflict - two states for two peoples, Israel living in peace alongside a Palestinian state.

In spite of President Bush's inaction, however, some of our elected representatives have shown that they do know what needs to happen. Peoria Congressman Ray LaHood, a Republican and Lebanese-American, and his Democratic colleague from North Carolina, David Price, sent a letter to the president (signed by 50 additional congressmen) urging Bush to invest his administration in finding a true solution to the decades of bloodshed and despair. 

[view full op-ed]


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