Tell President-Elect Obama: Appoint a Middle East Envoy!

Dear Friend of Brit Tzedek,

Last week, the world stood transfixed as Barack Obama made his first speech as President-elect. "This victory alone is not the change we seek," he reminded voters across the nation. "It is only the chance for us to make that change."

American Jewish peace activists must take this message to heart: The election of a new President does not mean our work is done. On the contrary, as we close the door on eight years of half-hearted diplomacy, it is time to take action that can lead to real change. 

Tell President-elect Obama we are counting on him to appoint a high-level Middle East Envoy in the first 100 days of his administration. 

Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations are fragile, frustration is growing, and the stakes are high. As he makes decisions regarding his Cabinet, President-elect Obama must also choose an envoy to the Middle East, a diplomat empowered to mediate and negotiate on behalf of the administration and provide full-time, vigorous, on-the-ground engagement in the peace process. To be effective, President-elect Obama's choice must have the respect of Israelis, Palestinians, and the American people, and ready access to the Oval Office. Moreover, such an envoy will pave the way for the meeting of the Middle East Quartet (the European Union, United Nations, United States, and Russia) planned as a follow up to Israeli elections in February.

Nearly 800 rabbis and cantors nationwide have endorsed the appointment in Brit Tzedek's "Time to Choose Peace: A Rabbinic Letter to President-Elect Obama." 

In their phone call last week, President-elect Obama and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert "agreed on the need to continue to advance the peace process." Now is the time for President-elect Obama to back this commitment with action.

Please contact President-elect Obama and express your support for a Middle East Envoy!

L'Shalom,

Sue Swartz, Chair of Advocacy
Deepa Domansky, Washington Liaison and Advocacy Coordinator

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(s):
Senator Barack Obama

Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Make Peace a Priority: Appoint a Middle East Envoy

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

As an American Jew, I welcome your commitment to make Israeli-Palestinian peace a top priority of your administration. As you said in your victory speech on election night: "To those who seek peace and security: We support you."

As a first step, I encourage you to appoint a high-level Middle East envoy within the first 100 days of your administration. Nearly 800 rabbis and cantors nationwide have endorsed this appointment at a time when Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations are fragile, frustration is growing, and the stakes are high.

As you make decisions regarding your Cabinet, it is absolutely crucial that you also choose an envoy to the region, a diplomat empowered to mediate and negotiate on behalf of the administration, and provide full-time, vigorous, on-the-ground engagement in the peace process. To be effective, your choice must have the respect of Israelis, Palestinians, and the American people, and ready access to the Oval Office. Moreover, such an envoy will pave the way for the meeting of the Middle East Quartet following the Israeli elections.

Thank you for agreeing with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on "the need to continue to advance the peace process." Now is the time to back this commitment with action.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Take Action!

Click here to tell President-elect Obama to appoint a high-level Middle East Envoy in the first 100 days of his administration. 


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What's At Stake:

Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations are fragile, frustration is growing, and the stakes are high. As President-elect Obama makes decisions regarding his Cabinet, he must also choose an envoy to the Middle East, a diplomat empowered to mediate and negotiate on behalf of the Administration and provide full-time, vigorous, on-the-ground engagement in the peace process.

Contact President-Elect Obama today!

Additional links:

Moscow To Host Mid-East Meeting. BBC World News America. November 9, 2008.

Centrist Foreign Policy Team Takes Shape. By Nathan Guttman. The Forward. November 6, 2008.

Time To Appoint a Middle East Envoy. Financial Times. November 6, 2008.

How does the envoy requested differ from the envoys President Bush appointed during his tenure? How is it different from the role of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice?
 


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