"For decades, there has been a stalemate: two peoples with legitimate aspirations, each with a painful history that makes compromise elusive. It is easy to point fingers – for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought about by Israel's founding, and for Israelis to point to the constant hostility and attacks throughout its history from within its borders as well as beyond. But if we see this conflict only from one side or the other, then we will be blind to the truth: The only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security.
That is in Israel's interest, Palestine's interest, America's interest, and the world's interest. And that is why I intend to personally pursue this outcome with all the patience and dedication that the task requires...

-- President Barack Obama, June 4, 2009 in Cairo, Egypt

Brit Tzedek:  We Stand with President Obama

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Diane Balser, executive director of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the country's largest Jewish grassroots peace movement, released the following statement in response to President Obama's speech in Cairo.
"Today in his historic address to the Muslim world from Cairo, President Obama made clear his commitment to renew US leadership in negotiating a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The current stalemate is not only unspeakably tragic for Israelis and Palestinians alike, but fans the flame of extremism across the region and thus threatens the United States' national security interests in the region.
The usual suspects will likely rush to characterize the President's insistence that both Israelis and Palestinians uphold preexisting commitments -- including a complete freeze on all Israeli settlement expansion and a concerted effort by the Palestinians to end all violence and incitement -- as indicative of an historic realignment that threatens Israel's alliance with the United States. In truth, the single most pro-Israel thing an American President can do is to actively pursue a negotiated, two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as Israel's very future as a democracy and a Jewish homeland depends on it.
The President made a persuasive case for the common interest in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which extends beyond the two parties, to include the Arab countries, the United States and its allies around the world. As Americans, as Jews and as people deeply committed to ensuring Israel's prospects for long-term peace and security, we stand with the President and with all those willing to work in pursuit of a resolution to the conflict."

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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