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Thursday, 7 May 2009

what's going on? support your president 2 - write to Leonard Cohen 1

It seems that I am doing J-Street's job for them. Well, I guess that is what attempting to spread the word is all about. Joe Biden's words at the AIPAC conference:
You couldn't ask for a starker contrast in visions for America's role in the Middle East than Newt Gingrich and Vice President Joe Biden provided at AIPAC over the past 72 hours.

Gingrich called for military action against Iran and a "wait and see" approach to the two-state solution [1] -- while Biden pressed for tough, principled diplomacy with Iran and argued that a two-state solution is in the essential interests of Israel and the United States. [2]

Biden also spoke from the heart (as he tends to do!) about the politics of this issue during his speech, saying "you're not going to like this" before challenging Israel on the issues of settlements and the two-state solution. He rightly didn't let the Palestinians off the hook either - pressing them to end terror and incitement against Israel.

I don't know about you - but I liked what Vice President Biden said. We need to show the Administration the depth of the political support in our community for their approach on Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - and that we reject the worn-out Gingrich / Bush / Cheney approach to the Middle East.

Click here to tell President Obama and Joe Biden you like their approach on Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

We'll deliver your petitions to the White House next week to show them the depth of the support we have in our community for their pro-Israel, pro-peace approach to the Middle East.

"Show me," said Vice President Biden at AIPAC's conference yesterday to the Israeli government, the Palestinians, and the Arab states.

He said that "Israel has to work towards a two-state solution" and that Israel should freeze settlement construction, "dismantle outposts and allow Palestinians freedom of movement."

To the Palestinians, Biden's call was to "combat terror and incitement against Israel."

On Iran, he repeated the Administration's commitment to "direct, principled diplomacy with Iran with the overriding goal of preventing them from acquiring nuclear weapons."

The "show me" message could well have been addressed to us - asking us to demonstrate for the President, the media, and our community that we stand with him as he pursues a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and tough, direct diplomacy with Iran.

Click here to add your name to tens of thousands of others who are standing up for President Obama's approach to the Middle East.

Thanks so much.


Isaac Luria
Campaigns Director
J Street
May 6, 2009

[1] "Gingrich: remove Iranian regime," by Ron Kampeas. Jewish Telegraphic Agency, May 3, 2009.

[2] "Biden tells AIPAC: Israel must support two-state solution," by Natasha Mozgovoya and Barak Ravid. Haaretz, May 5, 2009.
And for those who don't visit the blog regularly, or who only read the political posts now and then, J Street is the political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement. Prior letters from them are posted here and here .

Leonard Cohen is set to play Israel. Friends of mine saw him in Scotland and said he was marvellous. I missed him in Perth, and I am sure that tickets would have sold out long before I got there. There is an interesting post at Jews sans Frontieres (the comments section reflects that many don't know the mighty Cohen's works, though. Oh the shame) and there is a letter from "Jews, Palestinians, Israeli citizens, who hold his poetry and music in high esteem", urging him to please reconsider, here. There is an address on the Jews sans Frontieres if you wish to express your concern as well. I am hearby signalling my intention to one day write a post about artists and their contentions. Haruki Murakami, Alice Walker and Adrienne Rich among them.

Here is the Israeli newspaper, Ha'aretz's reporting on the upcoming Cohen tour and a UK call for Cohen to boycott.

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this cutie was taken by Crazyegg95 in 2005 and is from flickr