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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom

Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace

In one highly-packed week from January 12-19, a Brit Tzedek/Meretz-USA delegation will meet with members of Knesset, top Palestinian leaders, and a variety of peace activists among other activities. Steve Masters, president of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom and staffer Anna Freedman will write regular journal entries. We will also provide links to the trip blog of Rabbi Brant Rosen, a member of Brit Tzedek's Rabbinic Cabinet from Evanston, IL.


An Agreement within a Year
By Steve Masters
January 13, 2008

This morning I attended the opening plenary of the Geneva Initiative's conference entitled: "An Agreement within a Year". The basic idea behind the conference is to create a road map for implementing the parties' joint declaration at Annapolis to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008. I heard Yossi Beilin speak passionately as the first keynote speaker.

Here's background on their campaign - 

http://www.geneva-accord.org/staff.aspx?docID=2593&FolderID=222&lang=en

Beilin's major points were as follows:

What did Bush say? I am a friend of Israel and I am at your service. If you don't want to reach an agreement, I won't push you. If you want to reach an agreement, this is the window of opportunity. You know me, you trust me, an agreement is pretty clear cut - along the lines of what I've outlined since 2005, so I'm willing to assist. If you want me to push, propel, insist, I'll do so.

Beilin said that's how a friend speaks. And he added that it’s a pity that Bush didn't speak this way 7 years ago, but better late than never.

After forcefully stating the case that we must take on this campaign for an agreement by the end of this year he added that the truth is we don't need a whole year, but we can take a year if we need to.”

He explained that this is a conflict that one cannot manage. Attempting to “manage” the conflict always fails abysmally. It’ time to actually solve the conflict.

Beilin's key question to those assembled was:
Matai higea lirega ha'emet?
When will we arrive at the moment of truth?

Beilin called for 3 international summits to move the process along:

1st dealing with the financial aspect - how much peace will cost and who will fund it
2nd dealing with planning for the deployment of an international force in the Palestinian territories
3rd dealing with quotas for every country to accept Palestinian refugees

I like Beilin's formulation of "this is the moment of Truth." It beautifully frames the task before American Jews to accept the truth about the occupation and prospects for peace at the same time as it communicates that the window for opportunity is now.

 

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