Dear Friend of Brit Tzedek,

According to Haaretz, the Obama Administration "is preparing to put heavy pressure on the new government to freeze all settlement construction and keep its promises to lift roadblocks." If the Administration is to play an aggressive role in moving toward Mideast peace, it must have the backing of Congress.

Last Thursday, Rep. Gary Ackerman, speaking as chair of the House Subcommittee that addresses the Mideast, made it absolutely clear that Israel shares responsibility for the impasse in the conflict and must take bold political steps. Most importantly, he put the settlements and the behavior of the most radical settlers at the very heart of the matter. Thank Rep. Ackerman for his leadership.

Here is some of what Ackerman said:

"...we're spiraling downward...The downward pressure comes from terrorism and the march of settlements and outposts; from the firing of rockets and the perpetration of settler pogroms...

"...Palestinians have restored law and order in Jenin and Nablus, and are finally starting to put some authority back into the Palestinian Authority... what can be made of the new and growing security dynamic in the West Bank, remains to be seen. A lot will depend on whether Israel--in a break from years of habit--can recognize its own self-interest in the success of this Palestinian enterprise."

The importance of statements like these coming from a major pro-Israel voice in Congress can't be overstated. You can be sure that those who reject less than full praise for Israeli government policy have wasted no time in raising their concerns to Rep. Ackerman.

That's why it's so important that Rep. Ackerman get support -- loudly, clearly and often -- from pro-Israel, pro-peace voices.   We must thank him for taking such a strong stand on settlements while maintaining his strong commitment to Israeli security.  Click here to send a thank you note.

Rep. Ackerman knew very well that he would be criticized for these statements. He gambled that you would support him. Last Friday, Brit Tzedek's New York City Chapter mobilized hundreds of Ackerman's constituents to make thank you calls. Now it's your turn.

As the chair of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, Rep. Ackerman is also a national leader on Mideast policy. Let him know that you are one of the many American Jews and friends of Israel who will stand with him as he takes the tough steps for Israel's best interests and the interests of peace, security and hope for all the people in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

Let's make sure Congress knows that there are real political rewards for advancing the cause of peace in the Middle East. Please send Rep. Ackerman a thank you letter today.


Sue Swartz, Chair of Advocacy

Deepa Domansky, Washington Liaison and Advocacy Coordinator

P.S. Please share this Action Alert with family, friends, and colleagues.

Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
Representative Gary Ackerman

Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Thank you for your February 12 statement

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

As a Jewish American from Brit Tzedek v'Shalom who strongly supports Israel in its quest for peace and security, I want to thank you for your bold and courageous statement of February 12 at the Subcommittee hearing on Gaza.

While never wavering from your long-standing support of Israel and your strong stance against terrorism, you made a clear statement that settlement expansion, settler violence and other acts by Israel have contributed to the downward spiral of the situation in the Middle East.

This is exactly the sort of sober and insightful support that Israel so desperately needs now. Today, that support needs to take a new shape, one that includes a clear assertion of the need for Israel to live up to the commitments it has made to the United States and to do its part to strengthen Palestinian moderates.

I hope and expect that many members of Congress will support your stance and follow your example.

With my sincere thanks,

[Your Name]

Take Action!

Click here to thank Representative Ackerman



Additional links:

Gaza After the War: What Can Be Built on the Wreckage?, Rep. Gary Ackerman, U.S. House of Representatives Congressional Record, February 12, 2009. 

Congressman Ackerman Speaks Middle East Truth by MJ Rosenberg. February 13, 2009.

U.S. expected to pressure Israel on settlement construction by Akiva Eldar. Haaretz. February 15, 2009.

West Bank settlement gets green light for major expansion by Nadav Shragai. Haaretz. February 16, 2009.


Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
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Phone: (312) 341-1205
Fax: (312) 341-1206

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