Visit Your Member of Congress this August!

Make YOUR
voice heard!

This past May, Brit Tzedek launched its Time to Choose campaign by asking you to go to http://timetochoose.btvshalom.org and take decisive action to make YOUR voice heard on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We called on you to make a choice for peace by advocating for: a freeze on Israeli settlement construction, a shared Jerusalem serving as the capital of both Israel and the Palestinian people, a ceasefire between the sides and an end to the blockade in Gaza, and active U.S. engagement in the peace process.

And you responded! Hundreds of American Jews have already cast their ballot for Israeli-Palestinian peace, pledged to make a difference, and made good on their pledges by taking action. Some have chosen to talk about the conflict and its resolution with their friends and loved ones and others have joined their local chapter of Brit Tzedek. Some have pledged to get involved with Brit Tzedek's activities around the 2008 elections or joined us in Washington, D.C. for what was a tremendously successful Grassroots Leadership Training Institute and National Advocacy Days.

We did all this because, as American Jews, we know that choosing peace means making sure that our elected representatives know that a sizeable proportion of our community is pro-peace precisely because they are pro-Israel. Going into this election cycle, we know that Israelis and Palestinians cannot afford another eight years of American diplomatic inaction and neglect, and that furthermore, the U.S. Congress plays a critical role in promoting a political atmosphere conducive to active American engagement in Arab-Israeli peacemaking. We know that all the candidates (those running for Presidential office as well as those striving for seats in the Senate or Congress) must understand that a majority of American Jews support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- and we are willing to stand up with them if they take the courageous steps necessary to effect a just and lasting peace.

Members of Brit Tzedek-San Diego meet with Congressman Robert Filner

Today Brit Tzedek is excited to announce another, highly effective way to take action and make a real difference for the advancement of peace in the Middle East: Pledge to meet with your Congressional representative today!

August is the month in which Congress is on "vacation," and Congresspeople return to their home districts, giving them an opportunity to catch up with their constituents, taking time to hear the opinions of the folks back home. It's a time of year when they are much less harried and rushed than usual, and they generally have more time to meet with and listen to constituents than in their Washington offices. Furthermore, many are running for re-election this year and are anxious to hear what voters think about the issues that matter most.

As such, it's a great time to pay our representatives a visit, and let them know that it's Time to Choose peace! Brit Tzedek v'Shalom is organizing group visits to the home district offices of the members of Congress -- but they can only take place if our members, supporters, and volunteers pledge to take part.

As our meetings on Capitol Hill during Advocacy Days prove time and again, those who serve us in Congress (and their staffers, who are no less important an audience) are anxious to hear new voices emerge from the American Jewish community. They want to hear from people who can represent the mainstream opinion calling for a negotiated, two-state solution, people who no longer echo the out-dated positions of the community's conservative organized leadership (leadership, which has long since lost touch with the real opinions of the majority of American Jews), people who can assure them that large numbers of the community will support them enthusiastically if they should break with the old forms of showing support for Israel.

They are anxious to hear these voices because, like us, many in Congress have come to understand that if the U.S. is to be a true friend, we will have to urge Israel to pursue peace vigorously, with an eye toward making the kinds of difficult decisions and painful compromises that true peace always entails. Moreover, Congress and the American Jewish people are likewise coming to realize that such a peace is not only in the best interests of Israel and the Palestinians, but is in the best interests of the U.S. as well.

By meeting with our representatives in their home district offices, we are giving them a chance to hear American Jewish mainstream opinion in a personal setting and assuring them that they have firm backers in our community. This is a crucial action in support of a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- and a superb expression of the best of American democracy.

Please pledge to Visit Your Member of Congress as part of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom's Time to Choose Campaign! Visit http://timetochoose.btvshalom.org/ to pledge to work to make the future better for Israelis and Palestinians alike.


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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