Brit Tzedek v'Shalom Praises Biden's Comments on Middle East Peace
Administration Joins Peace Groups Recognizing Halt to Settlement Expansion Key to Success

Washington, DC -- Diane Balser, executive director of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the country's largest and most vibrant grassroots Jewish peace movement, issued the following statement today in response to Vice President Joseph Biden and Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) addresses to the national conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

"When Vice President Biden addressed AIPAC this week, he spoke poignantly to the aspirations of the majority of American Jews and other pro-Israel Americans, who recognize that the peace and security of the State of Israel, as the Jewish democratic homeland, are irrevocably bound to achieving a negotiated two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Underscoring his understanding that the Obama administration will not be 'judged by our verbal assurances... but by the results of the commitments we have made,' the Vice President called on all parties to the conflict -- the Israelis, Palestinians, the Arab States and the Quartet, alike -- to join the United States in making a just and lasting Middle East peace a priority, to 'think differently; to take risks; to make principled compromise.'

Vice President Biden set forth the challenge 'show me,' emphasizing that common interest is not enough -- concrete steps must be taken by both Israeli and Palestinians in order to build common purpose, including an Israeli halt to settlement expansion and stepped up Palestinian efforts to combat violence.
Vice President Biden's strong track record of support for Israel gave him great credibility in standing before the Jewish community and laying out the hard facts -- the expansion of settlements is a primary obstacle to peace.  His words echoed the sentiments of Senator Kerry, who addressed the same gathering a day earlier: 'Nothing will do more to show Israel's commitment to making peace than freezing new settlement activity.'

As President Obama and Vice President Biden American actively engage in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, American Jews will stand behind the administration and work to build support for its efforts in our communities and across the country."

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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