JPANet: A Holiday Wish for Peace in Bethlehem
The United States
is trying to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which have been
off and on since direct negotiations resumed in September.
In this Advent season, when our thoughts turn to the hope for peace
born in holy Bethlehem
long ago but promised to every age, thank President Obama for his efforts to
push for talks to end the occupation and resolve the issues dividing
Palestinians and Israelis. Urge him to commit to keep the process fair, without
predetermining outcomes of the negotiations through settlement construction or
other preconditions, and to seek a path to peace that is not bought with costly
weapons of war. Failing to pursue a sustainable path to peace in the Middle
East, or securing one with increased militarization of the region, will only
lead to future conflict, not reconciliation in the Middle
Tell the President you support his
continued efforts to seek a fair path to peace in the Middle
In November, just prior to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu coming
to the U.S. to meet with
President Obama, the Israeli government announced plans to build over 1,000
new settlement units in East Jerusalem.
The U.S. State Department said it was “deeply disappointed by the announcement”
and called the decision “counterproductive to our efforts to resume direct
In order to buy more time for talks, during Netanyahu’s visit the Obama
Administration tried to get Israel to extend a temporary freeze on settlement
construction just in the occupied territory outside of East Jerusalem, by
reportedly offering Israel 20 F-35 fighter jets, valued at $3
billion; a pledge not to ask for further settlement freezes; and a
commitment to veto any United Nations Security Council action
affirming the declaration of a Palestinian state. The U.S.
however, realized this was too high a price to pay for too little chance of
progress and revoked the offer of military and other incentives.
State Department spokesman Philip J.
Crowley said the U.S. withdrawal of the offer does not give a
green light to Israel’s plans to press on with
settlement construction. Crowley said, "The United States does not accept
the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements and...will continue to express
that position." Special
Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell affirmed this week: “We … are
determined to persevere … until we reach the successful conclusion that I think
all want; an independent, viable state of Palestine in which its people have the dignity of freedom
and self determination, living side by side in peace with Israel."
For more information:
Personalize the subject and text of the message below with your own words, if you wish.
- Complete the form below with your information.
- Click the Send Message button to send your letter to these decision makers:
- President Donald J. Trump
Dear [Decision Maker],
[City, State ZIP]