"America has worked steadily and
aggressively to advance the cause of two states -- Israel and
Palestine -- in which peace and security take root, and the
rights of both Israelis and Palestinians are respected.... The
time has come to re-launch negotiations without
-- President Barack Obama, September 23, 2009
Advocates for a two-state resolution of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict know that achieving true peace is
not now, nor has it ever been, easy.
President Obama acknowledged this simple truth in his speech
before the United Nations, even as he pledged to "continue
to seek a just and lasting peace between Israel, Palestine, and
the Arab world. He said: "I am not naive. I know this will
This is an historic moment for American Jewish peace
advocates, a time to rally without hesitation around the cause
in which we believe and for which we have fought so long. Let
us grab it.
Now we must follow President Obama's speech with bold
steps of our own. We must publicly support the President's
efforts toward negotiation, and help achieve the very peace that
Israelis, Palestinians, and three-quarters of Jewish-Americans
say they want.
Since his inauguration, President Obama, Secretary of State
Clinton, and Mideast Envoy George Mitchell have invested
enormous energy and capital working, in the President's words,
"steadily and aggressively to advance the cause of two
Slowly, these efforts have begun to bear
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tried to shift
the Obama administration away from a focus on settlements and
onto an agenda of Palestinian economic progress, but the White
House hasn't budged. "We continue to emphasize," the
President clearly stated, "that America does not accept the
legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements."
Similarly, Obama has been adamant that the Palestinian
Authority increase security and restrain anti-Israel incitement.
American security teams working on the West Bank report a
greatly improved situation but, in the words of the President,
more progress is needed: "We continue to call on
Palestinians to end incitement against Israel."
President Obama spoke with much greater frankness at the U.N.
than we are accustomed to hearing from US Presidents. But, if
these frank words are not followed by firm action, they will
achieve nothing. If the world, American political movers
and shakers, and Israelis and Palestinians alike don't believe
that the President has our support, he will not have the
political space he needs to take that action.
If we truly believe what we say we believe -- that Israel's
security is best served by peace, and that only a two-state
solution will resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- then
we must see President Obama's speech at the UN as a call
Those of us in the American Jewish community who have long
advocated for such a solution are right to feel heartened by the
President's vision and to recognize the role that we have played
in achieving this historic moment.
But our job has only just begun.
Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish
Alliance for Justice and Peace
11 E. Adams Street, Suite
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 341-1205
Join: Become part of our movement for
Donate: Help us spread our message far and
Renew: Continue to sustain our
Share this message:
Tell others about Brit Tzedek v'Shalom.
Receive regular updates: Click if you would
like to get weekly updates from Brit Tzedek v'Shalom.
Click to see our website.
This message was sent to . Visit your subscription management page to modify your email communication preferences or update your personal profile. Click here (or reply via email with "remove" in the subject line) to remove yourself from ALL email lists maintained by Brit Tzedek v'Shalom.