January 23, 2008


CHICAGO - Diane Balser, executive director of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace, released the following statement in response to the results of exits polls from today's Israeli elections.

"We welcome preliminary reports that Tzipi Livni has led her party, Kadima, to electoral victory, as we do the clear implication of these results that the Israeli electorate remains committed to a negotiated, two-state resolution to the conflict.

While the gains made by the right-wing parties have dominated the media's coverage of this election, the story that should now emerge is that a plurality of Israelis voted to support Kadima's platform of diplomatic engagement as the best way to ensure Israel's long-term security. That this fundamental conviction is shared by the Labor and Meretz parties, which look to be holding an additional 16 seats between them, only underscores the veracity of this narrative.

We hope that these results will hold. In the coming days the mechanisms of Israel's robust democracy will play out and make clear who will form the next government and become the new prime minister.

We are buoyed by the clear commitment that President Obama has made in the earliest days of his presidency to reinvigorate U.S. leadership in facilitating substantive and sustained negotiations to resolve both the Israeli-Palestinian and the larger Israeli-Arab conflicts once and for all. And we are hopeful that a viable Israeli governing coalition will emerge with the strength and foresight necessary to seize on this momentum to advance the shared security interests of Israel, the United States and the region as a whole."

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

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