CORRECTION: Earlier verisons of this post suggested that this was a first in terms of Americans for Peace Now directly taking on AIPAC. Which is definitely not the case. Shame on me for not double checking a hunch, being more careful in my presentation.
An e-mail from Americans for Peace Now titled "AIPAC doesn’t speak to me" landed in my box Tuesday morning:
For months you and I have been working to get President Barack Obama to step up his efforts in support of peace for Israel. We’ve called on him to be prepared to confront Israel, the Palestinians, or the Arab states when they fail to play ball.
Last week the Obama administration did just that. Following the Israeli announcement of new settlement plans in East Jerusalem, Vice President Joe Biden spoke out loudly and clearly while visiting Jerusalem and Ramallah. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to task in a 45 minute phone call. David Axelrod and other administration officials spoke about the problem on the Sunday morning talk shows.
There are some, however, who are trying to cut President Obama’s efforts off at the knees. AIPAC issued a statement voicing "serious concern" with the administration’s statements. ADL’s Abe Foxman said he was "shocked and stunned" by the American "gross overreaction."
We need your help to show our fellow Americans that AIPAC and ADL do not speak for us. Click here to send a letters to the editors of your local papers.
Israel publicized the approval of a plan to build 1600 new housing units in East Jerusalem just after the Obama administration announced that indirect Israeli-Palestinian peace talks would begin. While the Israeli government later apologized for the timing of the announcement, it never addressed the heart of the matter: the massive expansion of a settlement in territory over which Israel committed to negotiate undermines the prospects for peace.
Americans are not stupid. We know that peace for Israel is more important than the expansion of settlements. We also know that America’s interests are directly tied to Middle East peace and to Israel.
Stand for peace for Israel. Click here to send letters to editors of your local papers.
Peace talks will not succeed without genuine, sustained American leadership. All sides must know that there will be a price to pay for frustrating peace efforts. Our role, today, is to show Washington that President Obama enjoys a groundswell of support when he demonstrates such leadership.
Director of Strategic Communications
Americans for Peace Now