Brit Tzedek has got the president’s back


Brit Tzedek V’Shalom has begun a nationwide campaign urging American Jews to sign a pledge entitled "We’ve Got Your Back, Mr. President." The pledge tells the president that its signatories share his "sense of urgency to bring peace to the Middle East," that they "back your committed and persistent leadership in support of a negotiated two-state solution," and want to "make it known that an American President who dedicates himself to establishing a durable Israeli-Palestinian peace acts in the best interests of Israelis, Palestinians, the United States and our allies" — among other points.

A link to the pledge is here, and Brit Tzedek’s press release is after the jump: [[READMORE]]

Brit Tzedek v’Shalom to Obama: "We’ve Got Your Back, Mr. President"

Dorff, Pariser, Pogrebin Join Campaign to Demonstrate Strong American Jewish Support for a Two-State Solution

CHICAGO-A leading Jewish peace group today launched a nationwide grassroots campaign  telling President Obama the community’s "got his back" as he asserts U.S. leadership in pursuit of a negotiated two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Brit Tzedek v’Shalom is asking American Jews and their pro-Israel allies to sign a pledge to demonstrate the extent of support for substantive and sustained U.S. diplomatic reengagement to resolve the conflict.  The pledge–"We’ve Got Your Back, Mr. President"-affirms the signers’ commitment to back a renewed peace process not just in words, but also in deed. It provides a concrete call to action for individuals to work within their respective communities to the "build the political will" necessary to enable the president to take the "bold and decisive steps" peace will require, and to urge congressional support for this endeavor.

To read the full text of the pledge, go to .

"The president has said that he wants a two-state solution by the end of his first term and, with this pledge, we are promising to do our part as a community to help him get it done," said Diane Balser, executive director of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom.  "When we say we have got the President’s back, we mean that we will work to mobilize support for his policies from the grassroots up, to stand with him to him as he faces challenges, and to face down those who say these challenges cannot be overcome."

A long list of influential activists, academics, and artists have already signed on, including:   MoveOn’s Eli Pariser and the Midwest Organizing Academy’s Heather Booth, actors Olympia Dukakis and Mandy Patinkin,  playwright Tony Kushner, Bard College President Leo Bottstein, authors Rosellen Brown and Letty Cottin Pogrebin, and Mort Halperin, former State Department Director of Policy Planning.  Lead signers also include nine rabbis who have been named to Newsweek’s Top 50 Influential Rabbis list in the past two years, among them Rabbis Elliot Dorff of American Jewish University, Toba Spitzer of Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, Roly Matalon of B’nai Jeshurun and Jack Moline of Agudas Achim.

In conjunction with the pledge, Brit Tzedek will sponsor a number of high-profile multi-city speaking tours of distinguished American, Israeli and Palestinian activists, as well as local house parties to generate signers in communities across the county.

The pledge will demonstrate to the president and the public as a whole the considerable support within the American Jewish community for a negotiated, two-state resolution to the conflict and for U.S. leadership in achieving it.  According to a recent poll by J Street, 76 percent of American Jews support such a resolution along the lines of the agreement negotiated at Camp David and Taba in 2000.  The same poll shows that 88 percent of American Jews support the United States playing an active role in helping the parties to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, with the percentage support dropping only slightly to 81 percent, even if this entails U.S. pressure on both parties.

Since his inauguration, President Obama has taken a number of significant steps to demonstrate his determination to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.  His first official calls were made to President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel, during which he pledged "his commitment to active engagement in pursuit of Arab-Israeli peace from the beginning of his term."  On only his second full day in office, the President appointed Special Envoy George Mitchell, who, like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has since traveled to the region to meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials. In the coming weeks, the President will host the new Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, at the White House and will, himself travel to the region for his first trip as President.

"We have seen the danger of saying the right things but doing nothing to back them up play out in the region over the past eight years.  When we call on the president to actively pursue peace, we, as a community, must be ready and willing to do no less ourselves," said Steve Masters, president, Brit Tzedek.

"In Hebrew, the words for wind and for spirit are one and the same-ruach.  As President Obama works for peace, the enthusiasm of our activists across the country, demonstrated by the pledge this pledge, will be the ruach at his back," added Masters.

Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace, is a national grassroots organization more than 40,000 strong that educates and mobilizes American Jews in support of a negotiated two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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