Nothing found for Btvshalom Org Perspectives 1104 Shtml

This is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

Nothing found for Btvshalom Org Perspectives 1104 Shtml

This is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom

Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace

Perspectives from the President

November 12, 2004

Thoughts about the Election, and After

By Marcia Freedman

Dear friends of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom,

Many of us are still feeling a sense of disbelief about the outcome of the presidential and Congressional elections. This election certainly confronted the key challenges of our times and, as a result, the election discourse was more substantive than what we have grown used to in past elections.

The 2004 campaign engaged more people in the political process than ever before. People in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida stood for hours waiting to vote. Thousands upon thousands of people volunteered in support of their candidate. The importance of this election was understood; the need to organize was acted upon; and deep and passionate caring about issues was expressed by many in this country. People throughout the world paid attention to this U.S. election because its outcome has such global consequences. One can anticipate that on the issues of war and peace, economic justice, social morality, gender equality, and parity for the under-represented, people will continue to organize and raise their voices.

In this election as in others, U.S. Jews voted in strong numbers. Much to the dismay of many within our community, both candidates agreed to keep the issue that so preoccupies us, as American Jews, off the table. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict was intentionally absented from pre-election discourse. We were asked to wait.

Now, the election is over and there is no time to waste. The President has new opportunities which are being created by dramatic political developments in Israel and in the occupied territories. These include the evacuation of Gaza, the impending crises within the Israeli government which indicate that new elections could be held within the year and the death this week of Yasser Arafat which necessitates a major reorganization of the Palestinian Authority political system. The reorganization of the Palestinian Authority is currently being led by moderates. Whether or not these moderates can consolidate and hold power at this sensitive moment will be directly affected by Israeli and U.S. cooperation in enabling open and free elections in the occupied territories in the very near future.

Given that we have the same President, but a very altered constellation of circumstances, what must we do?

We need to marshal our forces to express the depth of our caring and passion about real security and justice for both the Israelis and Palestinians, even while other pressing issues may complete for our attention and resources.

Brit Tzedek is committed to continuing our struggle to influence the U.S. government--the Bush administration and the Republican controlled Congress-- to recommit to leadership in bringing the two sides to the negotiating table and presiding over a process that seeks to honestly ensure Israel's security and national integrity and to establish a viable, independent and sovereign Palestinian state alongside Israel.

  • We will soon launch an ongoing national Internet campaign of successive messages to the President, and will, with each message, gather signatures for one to several months on very concrete winnable demands that will change depending on what is happening in the present moment. We intend for this campaign to build on our great success in mobilizing grassroots support for the Open Letter from American Jews to the Next President during the election campaign. In less than three months, we gathered over 7,000 signatures including those of many prominent Jewish Americans. That Open Letter, which asks the President to reengage in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to appoint a high-level envoy in the first hundred days of his administration, will soon be presented to the next administration.

  • During the coming months, we expect that many new developments will soon take place on both sides of this conflict, and that the Bush administration will be challenged to respond to them fairly and in ways that can lead towards the renewal of negotiations. Subsequently, you are also likely to see an increase in the pace of Action Alerts, as we call on you to let the administration and members of Congress know where you stand. We are now a network of 23,000. There is much we can do with this large a base.

  • We will invest resources in building upon our strength at the chapter level, beginning with our ability to do effective grassroots advocacy work and to enhance our visibility in the local media. Many chapters are already well along in this process, but we must make sure that all of our more than 30 chapters across the country become influential and forceful advocates in their communities.

The United States cannot continue to alienate the Arab world and fuel extremist enmity. A just solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, in this context, is one of the most critical and perhaps the easiest conflict in the Middle East to resolve relatively quickly. Thus, there is reason to believe that global politics may provide some wind at our back for the first time in five years.

Building greater momentum has to involve all our efforts, at whatever level we choose to commit to the struggle for a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

If you have thoughts and ideas about Brit Tzedek's direction and strategies for 2005, we would very much like to hear from you.

Please email us at

Sincerely, Marcia Freedman, President
Diane Balser, Vice President

American-born Marcia Freedman is a Former Member of the Israeli Knesset and president of the American Jewish organization Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace.

Nothing found for Btvshalom Org Perspectives 1104 Shtml

This is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.