Alpert fights for Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution
July 2, 2008
By Donna Spiegelman/Special to the Star
Bonnie Alpert of Winchester joined a delegation of 12 Boston area activists who traveled to Capitol Hill last week to advocate for vigorous U.S. engagement in facilitating a negotiated, two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As part of the Boston delegation of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom (the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace), Alpert met with key aides to Rep. Edward Markey (D-Winchester), and Senators John Kerry and Edward Kennedy.
In her meetings, Alpert emphasized the need for Congress to ensure that the current administration continues to play an active role in the peace process, despite the fact that the president’s term is coming to an end. She also discussed strategies for making a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a high priority for the next administration.
The Congressional meetings were a part of Brit Tzedek’s annual National Advocacy Days program, which brought 150 American Jewish activists from across the country to Washington this year.
Brit Tzedek, a grassroots organization of American Jews with over 38,000 supporters nationwide, was founded in 2002 to promote a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Boston chapter, which numbers more than 3,000 supporters, is the one of the organization’s largest and most active chapters.
“Advocacy Days constitutes a great opportunity to promote our pro-Israel, pro-peace point of view to Congress,” said Alpert, who co-chairs Brit Tzedek’s Boston Chapter Advocacy Committee. “It underscores that this point of view now represents the mainstream of Jewish opinion, and it energizes our activists around the country.”
At Brit Tzedek’s fourth annual National Advocacy Days, participants heard from a number of experts on the Middle East, including former Israeli Minister of Justice Yossi Beilin and Daniel Levy, currently a fellow at the New America Foundation. Speakers emphasized the change in atmosphere as Israel engages in indirect negotiations mediated by Turkey and Egypt, and affirmed that all sides in the conflict believe the U.S. must play the role of honest broker in order for negotiations to lead to a peace agreement.
“These days, when Israeli government leaders are embracing the policies we have been advocating for years, it is especially important to show our support for the current peace process,” she added. “Polls consistently show that the vast majority of American Jews strongly support a two-state solution to the conflict.”
Of course we make sure to meet with Congressman Markey’s staff here at home during the year,” said Alpert. “But there’s an excitement and energy in the air when you have a meeting in Congress that just can’t be duplicated locally.”
Editor’s Note: Donna Spiegelman serves as chairwoman of the Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, Boston Chapter