Jacoby, others advocate for resolution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Belmont Citizen-Herald
October 16, 2008
Jonathan Jacoby joined a delegation of 12 Boston area activists who traveled to Capitol Hill recently 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), Jacoby met with key aides to Representatives Edward Markey, D-MA and Stephen Lynch, D-MA. In his meetings, Jacoby 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. He 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.
“We were able to bring to the halls of Congress Brit Tzedek’s grassroots, mainstream message of support for a negotiated peace that is in the best interests of Israel, the Palestinians, the Middle East, and the United States,” commented Jacoby. “And it was very encouraging to discover in our conversations that this message is increasingly understood.”
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 leaders pointed to polls consistently showing that the vast majority of American Jews strongly support 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 continue to work with our congressional representatives to keep the U.S. government engaged and all the parties talking and building toward a peaceful settlement of the conflict,” said Jacoby following his discussions in DC.
For further information about the Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, visit its Web site at www.btvshalom.org or contact it by e-mail nationally at email@example.com or locally at firstname.lastname@example.org.