As Secretary of State John Kerry heads to the Middle East to continue pushing for Israeli-Palestinian peace, APN is reiterating its call on American Jews to heed Kerry's call and urge their community's leaders to unequivocally support Kerry's mission. In a speech that Secretary Kerry delivered earlier this month (you can read the full text of his speech here), he exhorted a large crowd of American Jewish community activists to "send a message ... that you are behind this hopeful vision of what can be. Let your leaders and your neighbors alike know that you understand this will be a tough process with tough decisions and that you are ready to back the leaders who make them."
At the time, we urged our fellow American Jews to act upon Kerry's call. Now, as Kerry heads again to the region, we ask you again to act.
Tell Jewish leaders in your community and at the national level: stand up and show your support for Secretary Kerry's Middle East peace effort.
For too long, politicians and members of our own community's leadership have given lip-service to the two-state solution, while failing to appreciate the costs of the status quo or, worse yet, taking refuge in the hollow cliché that states, "We can't want peace more than the parties." Secretary Kerry's powerful, heartfelt words remind all of us what is at stake if the two-state is solution is lost: Israel's security and its very future as a democracy and a thriving Jewish state.
Tell your rabbis, the editorial boards of your local papers, the leaders of your Jewish community organizations: it is time to stand, publicly and vocally, with the Obama Administration in its efforts to break the deadlock and achieve the two-state solution.
APN commended Secretary Kerry for addressing head-on the pretexts seized by those who are afraid of peace or opposed to it. We agree with him that it is time to stop making excuses. It is time to stop allowing skepticism and cynicism to trump rational, clear-eyed analysis and policies grounded in the vital interests of both Israel and the United States. Kerry correctly underscored the urgency of the moment, noting that if progress is not achieved in the near term, the opportunity for peace may be lost, and both peoples will be sentenced to ever-increasing conflict for the coming decades. Perhaps as important, he also laid out a moving vision for a future of Israel living in peace and security with its neighbors, enjoying the economic, political, and diplomatic fruits of peace.
Tell your elected officials that the time has come to stop the excuses and take a stand for peace.
APN is proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Kerry in his efforts to achieve peace. Our colleagues and friends at American Jewish organizations across the political spectrum should do the same, for the sake of both the U.S. and Israel.
APN urges you to contact your rabbis, local Jewish community leaders, leaders of U.S. national Jewish organizations, local media, and your members of Congress. We urge you to ask them to stand up and support President Obama and Secretary Kerry in their efforts to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace. The draft text provided below can be adapted for all of these audiences.
Earlier this week, Secretary of State John Kerry delivered an important speech regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In it, he laid out his vision for what peace would mean for Israel, as well as the dangers that Israel will face if peace is not achieved in the near term.
Secretary Kerry exhorted members of the audience to "send a message...that you are behind this hopeful vision of what can be. Let your leaders and your neighbors alike know that you understand this will be a tough process with tough decisions and that you are ready to back the leaders who make them."
I am writing to do exactly that. Today, Secretary Kerry is working assiduously to break the deadlock and make a desperately needed breakthrough for peace and the achievement of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I know that his task will never be easy. I know that peace will require courageous leaders on both sides to make difficult decisions and compromises.
I also know that peace is essential to Israel's future and to America's own national security interests. As an American who is committed to Israel's security and its viability as a democracy and a Jewish state, I am proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Secretary Kerry in his effort to achieve peace. I urge you to do the same, leading by example and underscoring the fact that Secretary Kerry deserves all of our support in this effort. I urge you, now, to answer Secretary Kerry's call for support by standing up and demonstrating, publicly and vocally, your support for his Middle East peace initiative.