J Street: Get behind Mitchell


J Street is urging its supporters to get behind a congressional resolution expressing support for George Mitchell and his mission. In an appeal e-mailed on Thursday, the group asks: "Wouldn’t you think it would be a no-brainer for Congress to express support for appointing as Middle East Peace Envoy the man who brought peace to Northern Ireland?" Here’s the text of the e-mail from Isaac Luria, J Street Campaign Director:

There’s a tough fight brewing in Washington – and we need your help.

Today’s skirmish:  Should Congress express support for President Obama’s vision for Middle East peace and his Middle East envoy, Senator George Mitchell?

56 Members of Congress, led by William Delahunt of Massachusetts, have co-sponsored a resolution that supports the President’s appointment of Mitchell.

Others in Congress are waiting to hear from you and other constituents before deciding what to do. That’s where you come in.

Wouldn’t you think it would be a no-brainer for Congress to express support for appointing as Middle East Peace Envoy the man who brought peace to Northern Ireland?

Not so fast.  One prominent Jewish community leader objected to Mitchell because he would be too "fair." [1] Right-wing Christian Zionist Gary Bauer said Mitchell is too "even-handed." [2]

The fight here is, of course, much larger than support for this one resolution or even for George Mitchell.

It’s about whether President Barack Obama has the political support to make a serious effort to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – and how hard he’ll be able to push.

The Economist this week talks about shifts in American politics that are creating new maneuvering room for President Obama when it comes to Middle East peace and diplomacy. [3]

We’re proud that the article cites "the emergence of a vigorous bunch called J Street" as critical to the fresh wind blowing in the United States when it comes to Israel and the Middle East – and that with your help, we are offering a strong and vibrant political voice of support for American leadership in bringing peace and security to Israel and the Middle East.

Now is our chance to show Congress we know how to make our voices heard.

The pro-Israel, pro-peace community is vigorously supporting Mitchell’s appointment.

J Street members like you sent 13,831 thank you messages to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for their powerful choice.

Allied organizations such as the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, Americans for Peace Now, Israel Policy Forum, Brit Tzedek v’ Shalom, Churches for Middle East Peace, and the Arab American Institute have actively supported Mitchell’s nomination and are also actively supporting this Resolution.

Now, it’s the House of Representatives’ turn to show their support. This is why we started J Street – so we could mobilize thousands of emails in a matter of hours to show support for Middle East peacemaking in the halls of power. Will you join us?

Thank you.

– Isaac

Isaac Luria
Campaigns Director
J Street

[1] "Foxman: George Mitchell is too ‘fair’ and ‘even-handed’ to serve as Middle East enjoy" by Faiz Shakir.  Think Progress, January 21, 2009.

[2] "Mitchell wrong for Middle East referee?" by Jim Brown.  One News Now, January 22, 2009.

[3] "America and Israel: Will the relationship change? Yes it can." The Economist, February 12, 2009.

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