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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
Peace at the Caucuses
The Jewish Daily Forward
By Marissa Brostoff
One voter in Kansas City, Kan., arrived at his state’s caucuses hoping to do more than support his candidate.
Allan Abrams, chair of the Kansas City chapter of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, a left-leaning Jewish advocacy group, arrived at his Kansas caucus prepared to present a resolution calling for the United States “to actively and persistently engage in the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
“The objective would be to get the Democratic Party to ratify this resolution” at the Democratic National Convention in August, Abrams said.
Abrams planned to put the resolution to caucus-goers, who would have a chance to vote on it along with other measures. In the end, however, voter turnout was so high that he never got a chance to make his pitch.
“It’s incredible how many Democrats are here,” Abrams reported while on a break from the caucus. “This is one of the most Republican counties in one of the most Republican states.”
The crowd was so large that it spilled out of the church where the caucus was being held and into the synagogue that Abrams attends, across the street.
In order to take the Brit Tzedek resolution to the next level of the Kansas Democratic Party, Abrams, an Obama supporter, sought to be elected by fellow caucus-goers as a precinct delegate. He won a spot, beating out an 18-year-old and a 19-year-old vying for his position.
The delegates who were chosen at the Kansas City caucus will reconvene in April to discuss measures and resolutions and to determine who will attend the Democratic National Convention in August.
The idea to bring a Brit Tzedek resolution to the caucus was inspired by a strategy that another member of the organization used in Seattle during the primary elections of 2004. That year, Rainer Waldman Adkins, chair of the Greater Seattle chapter of the organization, presented a similar resolution at his precinct caucus. Caucus-goers approved it, and the resolution was ultimately inserted into the Washington Democratic Party platform.
A state party platform is “frankly symbolic, because in many cases the politicians just ignore it,” Adkins said. “But it’s very symbolically important. People can choose to use it as ammunition against the party, or can use it to demonstrate how wonderful the party is.”
Waldman thought that at least 10 Brit Tzedek members in caucus states planned to present this year’s resolution at their caucus.