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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2008
CONTACT: Jessica Rosenblum, Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, (202)265-3000 or (202)279-0005 (m)
1000 Activists Call On Obama To Make Peace A Priority
CHICAGO—More than 1000 people this weekend weighed in with Senator Barack Obama in advance of the candidate’s trip to Israel and the West Bank, urging him to demonstrate his intent to put Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking at the top of his foreign policy agenda.
Brit Tzedek v’Shalom delivered the letters from activists across the country to the campaign on Monday encouraging Senator Obama to demonstrate a commitment to make the negotiated two-state resolution a top priority of his administration.
At a news conference yesterday in Jordan, Senator Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, pledged to work for a breakthrough in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians "starting from the minute I'm sworn into office." He added that a president could not "snap his fingers" and bring peace to the Middle East. But, he said, "What I think can change is the ability of … a United States president to be actively engaged with the peace process."
“Barack Obama spoke to the importance of U.S. engagement in facilitating a negotiated two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said Steve Masters, president of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom. “The vast majority of American Jews believe that a negotiated two state solution offers Israel’s best and likely only hope of achieving true long-term peace and security.”
During his two-day trip to Israel and the West Bank, Senator Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli President Shimon Peres and a number of other political leaders in the region.
The group called upon the candidate to use his time in the region wisely to lay the groundwork for renewing the substantive negotiations necessary to resolve the conflict. In their letters to the campaign, the activists called on Senator Obama to:
Brit Tzedek also cautioned the candidate to avoid “repeat[ing] the mistakes of President Bush by waiting until the final year of an Administration to become fully engaged in the peace process.”
The campaign was directed at Senator Obama in light of his trip to the region. Brit Tzedek is a non-partisan organization of 38,000 American Jews committed to active U.S. engagement in bringing about a negotiated two state solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and does not endorse any candidate for office. Brit Tzedek calls on all presidential candidates to commit to making Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking a top priority of their Administration.
“The vast majority of American Jews believe that a truly pro-Israel president, regardless of party affiliation, will do everything in his or her power to bring about a negotiated two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” added Masters.
Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace, is a national grassroots organization more than 38,000 strong that educates and mobilizes American Jews in support of a negotiated two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.