Hillary Clinton just said that despite Bibi Netanyahu’s diplomatic defense of “natural” settlement growth, NO EXPANSION will be tolerated by the Obama Administration. Holy moley, it’s music to my ears. I’ve read the article ten times over.
The Administration needs to know that American Jews support the President and don’t support Netanyahu’s right-wing views. BTShalom has launched a campaign to just that effect: “We’ve Got Your Back, Mr. President” (full pledge text below the fold).
So though I’ve said it elsewhere, I’m going to reiterate it here: I’ve got Obama’s back. The (however modest) dedicated political pressure of American Jewish doves will give the President the room to use all methods at his disposal, including various pressures on Israel. In a better world, Bibi would not be leading a right-wing coalition dedicated to Greater Israel and punishing Palestinians, and such concerted support would not be needed.
But we’ve waiting for an American government with the balls to take decisive, fair-handed steps towards getting concessions out of both sides. The public opinion polls of both Jews and Americans at large support it.
Yet the right-wing pro-Israel lobby will cry foul and do their best to prevent any Israeli concessions unless Palestinians become the Care Bears first. They accept the status quo of deprived Palestinian rights and safety without question. They accept the deaths of Israel’s soldiers in ongoing flare ups rooted in a lack of diplomatic relations. They care nothing for the lives of innocents in their desire to crush a wish for independence — such crushing has never succeeded.
We want the Palestinians to have a state, to join Israel as a nation as promised in 1948 by the UN. We want Israel to regain a place of rightful respect on the world stage, to move on with perfecting its social needs. We want the chance for negotiations with Syria and Lebanon to succeed also, for Iran’s misuse of the conflict to be curbed.
This isn’t a blanket support of whatever Obama does. It’s clear, principled support for American even-handed engagement in bringing both sides (however reluctantly) to the negotiating table and monitoring progress towards a fair agreement. Sign the online petition, join the Facebook cause, and learn more.
We’ve Got Your Back, Mr. President
Dear President Obama,
Please know that I share your sense of urgency to bring peace to the Middle East.
Therefore, I pledge:
- to back your committed and persistent leadership in support of a negotiated two-state solution
- to work within my communities to build the political will that will enable you to take decisive and bold steps — and to urge Congress to support you in this endeavor
- 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
- to support you in staying the course through difficult times and to celebrate your successes
In Hebrew, the words for wind and for spirit are one and the same — ruach. As you work for peace, I promise that the ruach of the American Jewish people and our friends in the pro-Israel community will be at your back.