Somerville resident advocates on Capitol Hill for resolution of the Israeli-Palestine conflict
Sommerville Journal/ News
August 6, 2008
Beth Wasserman of Somerville joined a delegation of twelve 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), Wassermana national Brit Tzedek Board member and former chair of its Boston chapter, and one of the Boston Jewish community's rising young leadersmet with key aides to Michael Capuano (MA-8), Barney Frank (MA-4) and John Tierney (MA-6). In her meetings, Wasserman, who represents Brit Tzedek on the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, 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.
At these fourth annual National Advocacy Days, participants heard from a number of experts on the Middle East, including distinguished Israeli legislator 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. Brit Tzedek
“Advocacy Days is especially important because it demonstrates the commitment of American Jews to advocating for U.S. engagement in encouraging Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations,” said Wasserman. “Brit Tzedek's key points of calling for U.S. involvement in the negotiations taking place on the Israel-Syria front as well as a redoubling of efforts to support negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority were welcomed and echoed by Congressman Capuano and his colleagues."
Wasserman also noted that polls consistently show the vast majority of American Jews strongly supporting a two-state solution to the conflict. Even more significantly, Israeli government leaders are coming to embrace the policies the organization has been advocating for years.
“We will be working to ensure that supporting negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is a top priority for the next Congress and the next administration in its first year in office,” said Wasserman following her discussions in DC.
For further information about the Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, visit its website at http://www.btvshalom.org or contact it by email nationally at firstname.lastname@example.org or locally at email@example.com.