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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
Letter to the Editor: Diplomatic solution essential for Israel
The Jewish Voice and Herald
By Judy Kaye and Phil Rosen
NO ONE can doubt the right of Israel to protect its citizens from rocket fire by Hamas.
As this is written in the last days of December, Israel has employed massive, surgical air strikes aimed at Hamas installations and personnel. A force buildup on the border threatens ground incursions into Gaza.
While this may be an understandable response to Hamas’ actions, the scope of the operation will only escalate the conflict, place Israel in the role of aggressor, and threaten the lives and security of Israelis and Palestinians alike.
In the densely populated, impoverished Gaza Strip, significant civilian casualties ware inevitable, no matter how precise the bombing. Additional prolonged suffering is the likely aftermath. Meanwhile, extremists across the region – on both sides of the conflict – will likely find their cause buttressed and their supporters invigorated.
But if Israel is to survive as a secure and democratic Jewish homeland, there must be a diplomatic – rather than military – solution, and a negotiated peace agreement with the Palestinians.
Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, the Jewish Alliance of Justice and Peace, has called on President Bush to initiate an international effort to negotiate an immediate ceasefire and allow humanitarian assistance into Gaza. We have also called on President-elect Obama to make clear that, as President, he will assert leadership to achieve a comprehensive diplomatic resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflicts. As American Jews, we must support diplomacy.