Action Alert: Tell Netanyahu to “Walk the Walk”

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This Rosh Hashana, Ameinu is initiating a campaign to get North American Jews more actively engaged in the debate over Israel’s future. We are circulating a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu that implores the government of Israel to stop taking steps that will preclude a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict and jeopardize the Jewish democratic state.

As supporters of Israel, we would like to help the Jewish state combat the myth that it is not interested in peace; but we can’t do so when the current government of Israel reinforces that myth. The letter urges the Prime Minister to refrain from taking unilateral actions that perpetuate the occupation and make peace more difficult to achieve.

Please sign our Rosh Hashana letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu below.

The thrust of our message is:

Mr. Prime Minister, you say you support two states, but your actions suggest the opposite.

Because we support Israel, we implore you to stop expanding settlements and ruining the chance for a two-state solution.

Read the entire letter to the Prime Minister and join the campaign.

Shana Tova and thank you for your support,

 

Mr. Prime Minister Walk the Walk

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

Please help us to help Israel.

As the year 5773 begins, Jews are taking stock of the last twelve months and reflecting on the year ahead. As North American Jews who care deeply about Israel, we vow to do what we can to help the Jewish state survive and thrive. That is why we implore your government to stop taking steps that will preclude a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict and jeopardize the Jewish democratic state.

This past year has brought vivid reminders of the real threats faced by Israel. Terrorist attacks on Israelis in Bulgaria, a thwarted assault by jihadists from the Egyptian Sinai, the potential dangers from Iran’s nuclear build-up and the civil war in Syria are too often discounted or minimized by those who are hostile to Israel. As North American Jews, we have an important role to play in explaining Israel’s perilous plight to our neighbors and governing officials, ensuring U.S. support for Israel’s security and stemming the erosion of Israel’s international standing.

However, Mr. Prime Minister, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make Israel’s case. We simply cannot explain why your government seems bound and determined to ruin the chances for a two-state solution.

Over three years ago, at Bar Ilan University, you yourself stated that, "[i]n my vision of peace, there are two free peoples living side by side in this small land, with good neighborly relations and mutual respect, each with its flag, anthem and government, with neither one threatening its neighbor's security and existence." Yet, during the past year, your government took initiatives to expand and entrench Jewish settlements deep in West Bank territory and east of the separation barrier, placing obstacles on the path to a negotiated settlement. For example:

• In April, you announced that three settlement outposts far from the separation barrier would be legalized retroactively, even though they were built without permission.
• In June, while obeying an Israeli Supreme court ruling to evacuate settlers from Ulpana, a neighborhood in the Beit El settlement, your government announced a “compensation package” of more than 800 new settlement units.
• This July, the Levy commission, which you appointed, concluded that Israel's presence in the West Bank cannot be defined as a "military occupation" under international law, contradicting another ruling by Israel’s Supreme Court. The Commission further recommended the legalization of most settlements and illegal outposts and the easing of restrictions on construction in the West Bank. The entire international community, including the United States, believes that Israel is occupying the West Bank. We do, too.

Mr. Prime Minister, these and other initiatives are slowly erasing the distinction between the occupied territories and Israel proper. We find them hard to comprehend in light of your stated desire to achieve a two state solution. Why are you solidifying the Jewish settlers’ presence in territory that would be part of a Palestinian state in any solution that the Palestinians could conceivably accept?

These policies not only jeopardize the prospects for a Jewish democratic state; they also cause serious damage to Israel's international standing and provide more fodder for its enemies. We want to help Israel combat the myth that it is not interested in peace, but we cannot do so when your government reinforces that myth. In the coming year, please help us, Israel’s staunch allies, to help you. For the sake of Israel and the Jewish people, we urge you to refrain from unilateral actions that will perpetuate the occupation and make peace more difficult to achieve.

Shana Tova.

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Some recent signatories, put YOUR name on the list.

707Linda Kacser
706Joseph M Schwartz
705Robyn Adelman
704Elisha Shaish
703Leah Levitt
702Bella Shapero
701Ellen Bob
700steven garcia
699Pell Dalipi
698Robert Buford

About Hiam Simon

Hiam Simon, formerly a member of the Ameinu Board of Directors, is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the organization which has grown steadily during his tenure. Prior to working at Ameinu, Hiam was the Executive Director of the Givat Haviva Educational Foundation, one of the oldest institutions serving the Israeli-Arab population in Israel. His work as Director of Development with Americans for Peace Now focused on fostering resources in support of the two state solution. He also managed the North American offices of both The Jerusalem Post and The Jerusalem Report and realized significant gains in their advertising and circulation. Hiam has been a force in the progressive Zionist community his entire life, and was a delegate to the 36th World Zionist Congress. As a lay leader, he is active on the Boards of Directors of the American Zionist Movement; the Habonim Dror Foundation, the Habonim Camping Foundation, and Camp Naaleh, of which he is a past chair. During his many years living in Israel, he was Dean of Students for what is now the Alexander Muss High School in Israel, opened a bookstore in Jerusalem, and served in the Israel Defense Forces, with the final rank of sergeant. Hiam is married to Dr. Deborah Bunim and together they share 4 children and 3 grandchildren.
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13 Responses to Action Alert: Tell Netanyahu to “Walk the Walk”

  1. ALex Moskovic says:

    Keep up the great work you have been doing

  2. David Sachar says:

    I enthusiastically signed the petition but regretted that I could find no mechanism for adding any personal words to the template provided.

  3. Robbert de Bruyn says:

    YOU should stop this abominable action, that is based on false interpretations and accusations.
    YOU should respect the democratically chosen Prime Minister, who has the actual support of a
    democratic majority of Ameinu in Israel.
    YOU should stop using the word “Ameinu” as you represent just a small minority of our people.
    Robbert de Bruyn

    • Hiam says:

      Robbert,
      Thank You for responding to our petition. We recognize that you could have as easily just ignored it instead of engaging in conversation about the initiative and we appreciate that.
      I understand that you disagree with this petition and that is certainly your right – as it is ours to write it in the first place.
      Beyond your disagreeing though the rest of your comment seems invalid. Instead of simply not posting it though we thought it important to correct your often repeated but unsubstantiated claims.
      We are treating the Prime Minister of Israel with great respect for the office he holds. It is because of the office and the responsibility of being Prime Minister that we wrote the petition in the first place. While it is true that Netanyahu is the legally chosen Prime Minister, it is equally important to remember that his party, the Likud party, did NOT get a majority of the votes during the election. His party came in second to Kadima but Kadima would not make the same compromises that Likud was willing to make to form a government. When Kadima did not succeed in forming a coalition, Likud, as the second largest party, was given the opportunity to do so. It is important to remember that the country is NOT being led by the person chosen by the people. It is being led by the “second choice”. In poll after poll of the Israeli citizenship, a strong majority of over 70% are consistently found to be in favor of a Two-State Solution. The same can be said of polls of the American Jewish community. Therefore, this petition does in fact represent not a small minority of our people as you assert, but a majority of it. That is why this petition is so important. It seems to us that the government of Israel has run away from the wishes of our people. That is the only accusation and it is not based on a false interpretation.

  4. Charles Nadler says:

    Many Jews in Israel and in the USA think that all Jews are required to support the government of Israel right or wrong just because the government was democratically elected or because in some strange magical way it is the government of all Jews. Sorry, I rejected both arguments as an American with respect to the US government at the time of the Vietnam War and at the time of the Iraq War. There is no government that deserves to be supported right or wrong. A just government deserves support. As a human being I am due the respect of every other human being, which means that I have a right to determine what is true or false, just or unjust, etc., for myself. When some Jews presume to act in my name, I have a right to reject their actions. Well, guess what, that is exactly what is going on, which is why I have a right to reject the actions of the Israeli government as unjust, and demand that it behave in a just manner.

  5. Dennis Hoover says:

    This is a very valuable and appreciated effort. bless you for taking up this challenge !!

  6. Tim Upham says:

    I have been campaigning very diligently for a two-state solution, because that is the only alternative available. If the Palestinian economy collapses, it will pull Israel down along with it. Israel exports over U.S. $3 billion dollars worth of commodities to the Palestinians. If the Palestinians have their own nation-state, then they would qualify for multi-lateral international assistance from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Thus strengthening it to be a viable trading partner with Israel.

  7. Dov says:

    Peace/Shalom/Salaam!

  8. V. Heck says:

    I am tired of being embarrassed and ashamed by your actions.

  9. Kerstin says:

    Hope you will have success! Your action is a wonderful sign of hope – most needed!

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