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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom

Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace

Other Commentary


Brit Tzedek v'Shalom Responds to the Goldstone Report

The Goldstone report is and will continue to be the source of much debate within the American Jewish community, Israel and beyond--one that will, on balance, probably raise more questions than it could ever answer. [Read more]


Obama at the UN: "The Time Has Come"

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 be difficult." [Read more]


L'Shana Tova 5770: It is Never Too Late for Reconciliation

Around the world at this High Holy Day season, we Jews examine our souls, assess our past behavior, make amends for our sins and misdeeds, and resolve to do better in the year to come. This annual cheshbon nefesh, this inventory of our inner selves, is intended to inspire us to become better people, and to create a better world. [Read more]


They'll Be Watching Us in October

This is an opportunity we can't afford to miss. In the next few weeks, President Obama is expected to announce a renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace process – and Congress, the media, political pundits, and the Administration itself all will be watching for reaction in the Jewish community. What they see will matter. [Read more]


From Ramadan Dinner at the White House to Daily Bread in Gaza

Last Tuesday night, President Obama hosted a Ramadan break the fast dinner, complete with greens from the White House garden. Seated alongside ambassadors from Arab and Muslim countries, members of Congress, and ordinary citizens representing the wide diversity of American Muslim life were some unlikely guests: Rabbi David Saperstein of the Reform Movement, Rabbi Nathan Diament of the Orthodox Union, and Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren. [Read more]


Action Alert: Stand Firm! Don't Sign HR2194!

Hawkish members of Congress are acting to undermine President Obama's policy of a return to serious, high-level U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East, by attempting to weaken his efforts to achieve genuine engagement with Iran through House Resolution 2194, which calls for an amendment to the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, "to enhance United States diplomatic efforts with respect to Iran by expanding economic sanctions against Iran." [Read more]


Why 2 States Now

The two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been the goal of the US government and international community since the Clinton Administration, and is widely understood to be the best resolution available, one that would finally allow each people to develop fully and deal effectively with each other [Read more]


Did Israel Freeze the Settlements?

Today, as President Barack Obama meets with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek, the Israeli government is going public with an already existing and unofficial "settlement freeze" that would halt new construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem until 2010. [Read more]


Who Didn't Sign

Two weeks ago we asked you to contact your Senators and ask them not to sign the "Dear Colleague" letter being circulated by Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN) and James Risch (R-ID) unless and until the letter was rewritten in a more even-handed manner, and specifically mentioned the President's call for a settlement freeze. [Read more]


President Obama Holds Palestinians Accountable

Media reports regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have lately focused on White House condemnations of Israeli evictions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, as well as plans for new Jewish settlement in that part of the city. While this is an important story, the focus can lead to a misperception that the Obama administration is not holding the Palestinian people accountable as well -- when, in fact, such accountability is a key element of Presidential policy. The President has been quite clear about his demands of the Palestinians: greater security, greater transparency, less incitement. [Read more]


President Obama Stands with Israel

As an unequivocal supporter of the Jewish State, President Obama told AIPAC in 2007 that, if elected, he would work to "preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel," and a week after his inauguration, reminded an interviewer from the al-Arabia news channel that "Israel's security is paramount" to American concerns. What is perhaps most heartening, however, is the fact that the President hasn't been content to stick with the status quo for its own sake, preferring instead to expand the notion of being "pro-Israel" to include working for Israel's true best interest: A durable peace. [Read more]


Action Alert: Call Your Senator Now: Don’t Undermine Obama’s Middle East Policies

This morning Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN) and James Risch (R-ID) began circulation of a “Dear Colleague” letter that questions – and ultimately undermines – the Obama Administration’s approach to Middle East peace. [Read more]


Understanding Obama: Building Arab Support for Peace

The Obama Administration hit the ground running on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within hours of the inauguration. From the President's first phone calls -- to the leaders of the Palestinian Authority, Israel, Egypt and Jordan -- up to this past week, when the Administration successfully pressured Israel to open the Gaza border and suspend construction on the West Bank Separation Barrier, President Obama has been very clear on his firm commitment to taking the lead in brokering a negotiated two-state resolution of the seemingly intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [Read more]


Our Rabbis Have Chutzpah

On Tuesday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak authorized the building of 300 new homes in the West Bank settlement of Talmon. No clearer statement could be made of Prime Minister Netanyahu's intent to fight President Obama's settlement policy. Netanyahu, in an effort to detract from the conversation, even went so far as to say: "I think that the more we spend time arguing about this, the more we waste time instead of moving towards peace." [Read more]


We’ve Got Your Back on the Settlement Freeze, Mr. President

On Tuesday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak authorized the building of 300 new homes in the West Bank settlement of Talmon. No clearer statement could be made of Prime Minister Netanyahu's intent to fight President Obama's settlement policy. Netanyahu, in an effort to detract from the conversation, even went so far as to say: "I think that the more we spend time arguing about this, the more we waste time instead of moving towards peace." [Read more]


Brit Tzedek Welcomes Israeli Prime Minister’s Endorsement of Two-States and Urges Immediate Resumption of Negotiations, Adherence to all Past Agreements

Diane Balser, executive director of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the country's largest and most vibrant Jewish grassroots peace movement, issued the following statement in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address at Bar-Ilan University last night. [Read more]


2000-member American rabbi group backs Obama on complete settlement freeze, and you can too!

Today, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, which represents nearly 2,000 Reform rabbis, including a significant percentage of Brit Tzedek supporters, issued a statement in support of President Obama's call for a complete freeze on settlements; this includes natural growth, as "in the best interest of the United States, of the State of Israel, and of peace."[Read more]


We Stand with President Obama

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.[Read more]


President Obama Embarks on a Historic Middle East Visit

As President Obama prepares for his first official visit to the Middle East, he has left no doubt about where he stands: "...I think there have been times where we are not as honest as we should be about the fact that the current direction, the current trajectory in the region, is profoundly negative, not only for Israeli interests but also U.S. interests." [Read more]


Will You Back Obama for a Settlement Freeze?

The Obama Administration is tackling the contentious settlement issue head on. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated yesterday that President Obama "wants to see a stop to settlements -- not some settlements, not outposts, not 'natural growth' exceptions...We think it is in the best interests [of the peace process] that settlement expansion cease. That is our position. That is what we have communicated very clearly... And we intend to press that point." [Read more]


When Netanyahu Met Obama

Change is underway in American foreign policy: During their first White House meeting, President Obama pulled no punches in clarifying to Prime Minister Netanyahu that a two-state resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict has his full, unwavering support -- and he didn't hesitate to take on contentious issues, either, even while expressing his "great confidence" that Netanyahu will "rise to the occasion." [Read more]


[Action Alert] Tell Congress To Stand With President Obama As He Pursues Middle East Peace!

This Monday, Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama will have their much anticipated first meeting at the White House. On their agenda is three major issues: 1. Is there a need for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? 2. Reinvigorated peace negotiations 3. Continued settlement expansion. [Read more]


We've Got Your Back, Mr. President: A New National Campaign of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom

Who would have imagined...An extremely popular American President. A President who, in his first 100 days, has put resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict front and center in his Administration's foreign policy. Join us and other prominent members of the American Jewish community by signing Brit Tzedek's pledge to stand by President Obama. [Read more]


Yossi Beilin Conf Call on May 13: Peace under Netanyahu and Obama?

Yossi Beilin discussed the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian and regional peace under the Netanyahu and Obama administrations. He also spoke to the unique role of the American Jewish community in building support for both Israeli-Palestinian and regional peace agreements. Beilin is a leading proponent of the peace process between Israel and it's neighbors -- especially the Palestinians -- identifying Israel's national interest as being best served by achieving a fair, just, and comprehensive peace in the region. [Read more]


Press Release: Brit Tzedek v'Shalom Praises Biden's Comments on Middle East Peace

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). [Read more]


[Action Alert] Support President Obama's Commitment to a Two-State Solution!

As American Jews and friends, we have a very exciting opportunity to support the President of the United States in his efforts to promote a pro-Israel, pro-peace agenda! We now have a president whose Middle East agenda is in line with the majority American Jewish opinion, which supports a two-state solution and diplomatic engagement, and so now is the time to act! [Read more]


[Action Alert] Don't Bind President Obama's Hands!

President Obama has just completed his first 100 days in office. For the first time in U.S. history, an administration has made a negotiated 2-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and visible on-the-ground change a top priority from Day 1. [Read more]


Because We Must Never Lose Hope

Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's Memorial Day and Independence Day, fall in the period of the counting the Omer, the holy period between Passover and Shavuot. During these weeks, we ritualistically count each day as it goes past, in a state of semi-mourning for ancient losses, and on Yom Hazikaron, we grieve anew the tragic loss of young Israeli lives in the decades' long Israeli-Arab conflict. [Read more]


Now is the Time: Save the Date -- Grassroots Training & Organizing Institute

What: Two days of grassroots organizing and activism training with leading community organizing and pro-Israel, pro-peace movement activists. Who: Chapter activists who want to improve their chapter's effectiveness, increase their own contribution to Brit Tzedek, network with other activists, or learn new organizing skills from the experts! When: July 26-27, 2009. Where: Chicago, IL. [Read more]


[Action Alert] No foot-dragging or pessimism allowed

What a week...the Netanyahu coalition government finally sworn in, followed almost immediately by outrageous statements or blatant non-statements from the new leadership, calling into question even the most basic commitment to a peace process. [Read more]


Passover: Emerging into the Light of Lasting Peace

As we sit down to our seders, we recall this moment of conscious awareness between the darkness of slavery and the light of freedom. An entire people's identity changes in that twilight as they step out of being a nation of slaves toward the possibility of living as a free people. [Read more]


Press Release: Brit Tzedek Calls on Israel's New Government to Make Peace Resolution Top Priority

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom's executive director, Diane Balser, issued the following statement in response to the official formation of Israel's governing coalition today."We welcome the news today that a new Israeli government has been formed with the hope that, with the protracted transition behind them, Israel's leaders will now focus on making the pursuit of peace an immediate priority. [Read more]


Rashid Khalidi: Key Historical Lessons for the Obama Administration

Dr. Rashid Khalidi distilled from his historical research on the region what he sees as the key lessons the Obama Administration must consider in its pursuit of a two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [Read more]


[Action Alert] Press for Settlement Freeze

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has wasted no time in pushing for substantive on the ground changes in Gaza and East Jerusalem. On her recent trip to the region, she argued forcefully for Israel to stop restricting food shipments into the Gaza Strip, and Israel quickly complied. [Read more]


The Future of U.S. Mideast Diplomacy by Daniel Kurtzer

We all know and appreciate that the Obama Administration has gotten off to a very quick start with respect to the Middle East peace process. This Administration, unlike previous ones, did not wait years to begin working on the peace process in earnest. [Read more]


[Action Alert] Thank Senator John Kerry for Mideast Peace Leadership

Senator John Kerry, your senator and chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has recently taken several powerful and highly visible pro-Israel, pro-peace actions. Kerry's visits to Gaza and Syria, followed by his speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, where, among other points, he spoke at length about the need to take serious steps regarding settlement activity, have given a huge boost to President Obama's efforts to achieve Middle East peace. [Read more]


This Moment in History by Diane Balser

Since its inception, Brit Tzedek has organized among Jewish Americans in preparation for this moment in history. For six years, we have been building and strengthening a powerful grassroots network, advocating for new foreign policy around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [Read more]


Avigdor Lieberman: Brit Tzedek Statement, Daniel Levy, & More

The electoral success of MK Avigdor Lieberman in the recent Israeli elections has caused concern among many working for Israeli-Palestinian peace. We share with you Brit Tzedek's policy statement, an interview with Daniel Levy on Liebermanism, a chronology on Lieberman's political rise to power, and an overview of the U.S. Jewish communal response. [Read more]


[Action Alert] Senate Poised to Act: Give 2 Minutes and Show Your Support!

Last night, in his address to the nation, President Obama offered real hope for peace in the Mideast: "In words and deeds, we are showing the world that a new era of engagement has begun..." [Read more]


[Action Alert] Congress Starts to Get Serious About Settlements

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.". [Read more]


Barack, Bibi and Tzipi: A Chance for Peace? by Doni Remba

The results of the Israeli election this week, coming on the heels of the Gaza War, have been confounding for many of us in the pro-Israel, pro-peace camp, as we simultaneously breathe a sigh of collective relief that President Obama's Administration is reality. [Read more]


Post-Election Conf. Call with Naomi Chazan on Wed., Feb. 11

Naomi Chazan, former Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, discussed how the results of the Feb. 10 Israeli elections may impact Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, and in particular, the role of the U.S. Administration. [Read more]


[Action Alert] Support Bill for Aggressive U.S. Peacemaking

The U.S. is now engaged in aggressive Mideast peacemaking. The likelihood of Mitchell's success depends on public backing of his leadership and mission. A new resolution in the House of Representatives does just that. It supports "President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and Special Envoy Mitchell in their vigorous pursuit of a diplomatic resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab conflicts based on the establishment of 2 states...living side by side in peace and security..." Call your Representative. [Read more]


Podcast: Gaza Humanitarian Situation Conf. Call with Mitchell Plitnick

On February 4, Mitchell Plitnick, the Director of the U.S. Office of B’Tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, who gave an update on the humanitarian situation on the ground in Gaza and discussed the response of B'Tselem and other NGOs, both in the Mideast and the U.S. [Read more]


[Action Alert] Thank Obama for Aggressive Mideast Peace Action

Congratulations to the activists of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom and allied organizations for establishing a base in the Jewish world that gives President Obama the necessary support to take aggressive first steps towards peace. Take action to Thank President Obama for his early leadership on Mideast peace and thank the 62 Members of Congress who called on the Administration to address overwhelming humanitarian needs in Gaza. [Read more]


Brit Tzedek Applauds Mitchell Appointment

The country’s largest grassroots Jewish peace movement today praised the appointment of Senator George Mitchell as Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, as another sign of President Barack Obama’s seriousness of purpose in renewing U.S. leadership to achieve a negotiated, two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [Read more]


Warrior for Peace: Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf

In Jewish tradition, the thirtieth day after the funeral of a loved one, or shloshim, is a time for special remembrance and reflection, a reminder that we carry the spirit of our loved one with us always. Saturday marks the shloshim of Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf, z"l, after his unexpected death on December 23, 2008. [Read more]


Watch the Video: 1000 Rabbis Call on President Obama to "Choose Peace"

Dear Mr. President, Please accept the heartfelt congratulations of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom on your inauguration as President, on the spirit of inclusion that you bring with you to the nation's capital, and on the hope you have given to all. [Read more]


Brit Tzedek Responds to the Gaza Ceasefire Announcement

In response to the announcement this weekend that both Israel and Hamas would cease fire in Gaza, Diane Balser, executive director of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, issued the following statement: [Read more]


Podcast with Nathan J. Brown

On January 6, 2009, Nathan J. Brown, professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University and a world-renowned expert on Palestinian politics. provided an analysis of the war between Israel and Hamas in "Where to with Hamas?". [Read more]


Stories from the Ground: Sderot & Gaza

It is hard, when reading about the violence in Gaza and Israel, to get a genuine sense of what the people on the ground are experiencing, their terror, their sorrow, their hopes for tomorrow. In order to try to bridge that gap, we bring here two first-person accounts, one relating the realities in Gaza, the other in Israel. [Read more]


A Force To Be Reckoned With

Our growth into a significant political force was clearly evident last week. Brit Tzedek supporters from across the country, together with those of J Street, made well over 4,000 phone calls requesting inclusion of our pro-Israel, pro-peace message in impending House and Senate resolutions on the Israel-Gaza crisis. Collectively our voices changed the status quo. [Read more]


Podcast with Daniel Levy

On January 6, 2009, Daniel Levy, Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation and the lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Initiative, provided an analysis of the war between Israel and Hamas and prospects for peace. [Read more]


Israel-Gaza Crisis Action Steps

For the sake of Israel, the U.S. government must take leadership in conjunction with the international community to bring about an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Gaza. [Read more]


Diane Balser & Rabbi Eric Yoffie on Talk Radio

These are extraordinarily difficult days for those of us who care deeply about working for peace in Israel as the fighting escalates and more people are harmed. Together, we are presenting a principled alternative to what it means to be pro-Israel and what is in the best interest of Israel, raising a voice of conscience and purpose in the American Jewish community. [Read more]


[Action Alert] Urgent Pro-Peace Congressional Action Needed Now

A concerted effort is under way requesting that members of Congress issue statements supporting Israel's right to "defend its citizens against terrorism" by continuing its military action in Gaza. It is likely that legislation in this vein will emerge shortly after Congress convenes on January 6. [Read more]


Podcast, Transcript, & More with Rabbi Marc Gopin

The Crisis in Gaza: An on-the ground Report from Jerusalem [Read more]


[Action Alert] Tell Obama: Your Strong Voice Is Needed In The Middle East NOW!

The escalating warfare in Gaza and southern Israel demands the immediate attention of President-elect Obama. As President-elect, he must speak out about the escalating crisis between Israel and Hamas, call for an immediate ceasefire, and send a strong signal about his long-term objectives for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Tell President-elect Obama to speak out forcefully today! [Read more]


[Action Alert] Tell Bush: Take International Leadership to End Hostilities

Over the past several days, the world has been rocked by the severe escalation in hostilities in Gaza and southern Israel following six months of ceasefire, an arrangement that dramatically reduced the level of violent attacks. Tell President Bush to take international leadership to end the hostitlties today! [Read more]


Brit Tzedek Statement to the Jewish Community on the Current Crisis

Who among us has not watched in alarm and anguish as the crisis has unfolded in Gaza and southern Israel over the past two days? Close to 300 Palestinians have died and hundreds more are wounded -- both Hamas militants and ordinary citizens. More than 120 rockets have been launched into Israel, with one man killed. [Read more]


Your Inspirations

Just before Hanukkah, we shared our thoughts with you regarding eight of the past year's most inspiring individuals and organizations working for Israeli-Palestinian peace, and we encouraged you to share your thoughts with us. Not surprisingly, many suggestions were received. So we expanded it to 18 -- the number that corresponds with "chai," the Hebrew word for "life." [Read more]


When Diane met Mort

How did it go in that speech? Folks in red states who hate eavesdropping, folks in blue states who believe in an awesome God? [Read more]


Eight Hanukkah Lights of Courage

As American Jews prepare for Hanukkah this year, there is reawakened hope for a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Throughout the last 8 years of dwindling faith that such peace was possible, the 8 days of Hanukkah have helped sustain us. Each, night, we watch the candles spread light across great darkness, and are reminded that by joining all of our courageous efforts together, our dreams are achievable. [Read more]


Rabbis Tell Olmert: Ease Up on Gaza

The Israeli people and American Jewish community have long had a warm and respectful relationship. Israel is the spiritual homeland of all Jews, and as American rabbis, we have consistently brought this message to our communities. [Read more]


Tell the Incoming Congress: Take Leadership for Peace

The Obama Administration can make tangible progess towards Israeli-Palestinian peace, but it will need the support of Congress. The 111th Congress is set to commence in January 2009. Contact your members of Congress -- you can make a difference. [Read more]


Hope Begins with Respect
By Saffiya Shillo

The Palestinian American community is watching the moves of President-elect Obama's transition team carefully. The Bush administration has been so disastrous for our cause, we're afraid to hope anything could get better. [Read more]


[Action Alert] Tell President-Elect Obama: Appoint a Special Middle East Envoy!

Last week, the world stood transfixed as Barack Obama made his first speech as President-elect. "This victory alone is not the change we seek," he reminded voters across the nation. "It is only the chance for us to make that change." Tell President-elect Obama to appoint a high-level Middle East Envoy in the first 100 days of his administration. [Read more]


Mazel Tov President-Elect Obama
By Diane Balser and Steve Masters

We at Brit Tzedek v’Shalom would like to extend our heart-felt congratulations to President-elect Barack Obama and to the grassroots movement that won this election as we and the entire country begin a new chapter in American history. [Read more]


Change of Guard is an Opportunity for Peace
By Sue Swartz

In a handful of days, Americans will make our collective voice heard. With hope, we stand before a new beginning as the eyes of the world are on us. So, too, are the eyes of the world on Israel -- where, to all appearances, political pandemonium reigns. [Read more]


Organizing for Real Change
By Diane Balser

It is only by gathering all of our strength together, acting from the ground up, that we will make our voices heard, and change the reality in the Middle East. With a new President about to take office, there’s never been a better time than now. [Read more]


Simchat Torah: A Torah of Peace

As the holiday season draws to a close, we are once again celebrating the very thing that makes us a people: The Torah. Simchat Torah is a joyous event which re-connects us to our source reminding us that we are indeed a people of the Book. As we round out the year's Torah readings, and read of Moses in the closing moments of his life, we are drawn to the land of Israel -- the land he was never to enter, but that we may, either to visit or to live. [Read more]


Sukkot: Harvesting Last Week's Contemplation
By Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller

Five days after Yom Kippur, we usher in Sukkot, the fall harvest festival. Thus, Sukkot follows right on the heels of the contemplative period of the Days of Awe, during which we have spent many hours preparing to manifest our best qualities in the coming year. Sukkot gives us the chance to do just that. [Read more]


Brit Tzedek Responds to Attack on Peace Advocate

People of goodwill and peace activists around the world were horrified to learn last week that Israeli professor and Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) activist Zeev Sternhell had been attacked on his front steps with a pipe bomb. In the wake of the attack, posters were found near his home offering more than million shekels to anyone “who kills a member of Peace Now.” [Read more]


Happy New Year 5769: Never Lose Sight of the Open Door
By Rabbi Alvin Sugarman

Rosh Hashana is always a time of reflection and renewal, a time when old patterns are abandoned, and new ideas considered. In Ezekiel, we are called on to "get [ourselves] a new heart and a new spirit" -- ideally, we bring a measure of healing to our world, and evolve, as individuals and communities. [Read more]


Brit Tzedek Activists on the Move

Brit Tzedek activists across the country have been busy this past summer with a wide range of grassroots activities. [Read more]


The Power of the Grassroots
By Diane Balser

As we prepare to ascend Capitol Hill with our message -- one voice crafted from the combined efforts of many thousands -- we come face to face with our growing success and the extent to which the idea of a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become mainstream opinion. [Read more]


Six Degrees of Separation: 'Pro-Israel Realists' Versus 'Worried Jews'
By Aaron Ahuvia

The key to advancing our political cause is organizing and mobilizing 'pro-Israel realists' who already agree with us, while wining over those 'worried Jews' who are fairly sympathetic to our viewpoint already. [Read more]


What exactly is pro-Israel?
By Rabbi Marc Gopin, Rabbinic Cabinet

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, one of the most powerful lobby groups in the United States, just concluded its annual Washington conference. It drew a long line of administration officials and the presidential candidates to its doorsteps, all touting orthodox lines on what it means to be pro-Israel—messages carefully crafted to please the lobby. Now is a good time to ask, what exactly does 'pro-Israel' mean, and who is pro-Israel in the United States today? [Read more]


Half-Way There: A History of the Two-State Solution
By Aliza Becker, Deputy Director

There is a danger of saying something so often that we forget its history. A "two-state solution”? Where did it come from? What does it mean? It’s often forgotten that the birth of Israel was in fact predicated on the notion of two states for two peoples. [Read more]


Israel's 60th: Reflections, Resources, & Activities

Brit Tzedek's Rabbinic Cabinet has developed peace-oriented resources for this important anniversary year in a new guide,"Pointing the Way to Peace and Security: A Resource for Rabbis and Cantors on Israel's 60th Birthday." It includes reflections by prominent rabbis, suggested synagogue-related peace activities, a bibliography of recommended reading, a timeline of "defining moments" in the Arab-Israeli peace process, and stories from an Israeli and Palestinian who were personally involved in the events of May, 1948. [Read more] Download the Text here Order a copy of the guide


On the Ground: A Daily Report from Israel and the West Bank

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, in a pilot partnership with Meretz USA, is co-sponsoring a symposium in Israel and the West Bank this week. The delegation is meeting with Israeli and Palestinian political and grassroots leaders of the peace movement, as well as seeing first hand the effects of the occupation to gain an understanding of the realities affecting Israeli and Palestinian lives on a daily basis. [Read more] Read the Journal


Annapolis: What We Think, Where We’re Going, What We Did...

The much anticipated Annapolis peace conference is over. Final status peace negotiations will soon begin with the goal of creating a viable Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel. Over the past weeks, Brit Tzedek has led the charge to rally American Jewish and Congressional support for the peace conference, and we will continue until we reach our goal. There is no turning back. [Read more]


What happens AFTER Annapolis? Analysis by Daniel Levy

Daniel Levy, Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation and the lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Initiative, provides an in-depth analysis of the Annapolis peace conference in Brit Tzedek’s Town Hall Conference Call. Listen Online Download the Podcast


528 Sign Brit Tzedek Rabbinic Call on Annapolis and the Next President

Brit Tzedek's Rabbinic Cabinet has raised a resolute call to American Jews, Kindle the Lights of Peace, urging their support for efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at the Annapolis peace conference and encouraging all of the presidential candidates to support Israeli-Palestinian peace. View the Call See List of SignersSee Call in the Forward FAQView the Press Release Annapolis Conference Resources


Israeli and Palestinian Perspectives on Annapolis
By Naomi Chazan and Rafi Dajani

Brit Tzedek asked two of our allies, Naomi Chazan, professor of Political Science and former Member of Knesset with the Meretz party in Israel, and Rafi Dajani, the Executive Director of the American Task Force on Palestine, to answer several questions about the upcoming Annapolis peace conference, tentatively scheduled for November 27. [Read more]


Beyond the Rhetoric: Understanding Hamas
By Aliza Becker

The specter of Hamas - what they will and will not do - haunts nearly every discussion about a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict...In order to answer our questions, we researched and developed this "backgrounder" on Hamas. We hope it provides an overall understanding of their origins and what the future may hold in store for them and for those of us who advocate a negotiated settlement in the Middle East. [Read More] [Executive Summary PDF, DOC] [Download the Backgrounder PDF, DOC]


A Palestinian Legislator Speaks Out: An Interview with Jihad Abu Zneid

Brit Tzedek's Deputy Director Aliza Becker spoke with Palestinian Legislative Council member Jihad Abu Zneid about her assessment of the present situation. Abu Zneid is a Fatah council member from East Jerusalem and the founder and director of the Women's Center of the Shuafat Refugee Camp in East Jerusalem. We discussed the critical issues facing the Palestinians including the political separation of Gaza from the West Bank and the economy in addition to the role of women. [Read more]


Letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Due to the grave humanitarian situation in Gaza as well as the welcome increase in US engagement in Middle East diplomacy, Brit Tzedek v'Shalom sent the following letter to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday, August 10, 2007.[Read more]


From Tel Aviv to Hebron: A Report on 40-Year Anti-Occupation Events
By Sue Swartz

It is already hot in Hebron at 11 a.m. as 300 of us disembark from the comfortable bullet-proof buses which started out in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Be'er Sheva, buses which passed through the checkpoints outside Kiryat Arba and inside Hebron itself, and -- accompanied by IDF and police vehicles -- down one of the main thoroughfares of the city, past Palestinians gathered outside their small stores and auto repair shops, past young boys carrying containers of soup given out on Tuesdays, past Christian tourists in red baseball caps. [Read more and see pictures]


On the Ground with Israelis and Palestinians and Viewing the Occupation Up Close

These two installments of a tour report covering our travels in Israel and the occupied territories this past March and April. In the first installment, you?ll find highlights of conversations with leaders and activists involved in a variety of initiatives aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and addressing the damage the conflict has done. In the second installment we try to convey in pictures and in words some of what we experienced. [Read part one] [Read part two]


 

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