To return to the new Peace Now website click here.

JTA Breaking News & Huffington Post Articles re: APN Support for Price-LaHood Letter

Americans for Peace Now, Brit Tzedek v'Shalom and the recently established J Street lobby group, strongly back the letter.

JTA Breaking News: "House letter to press Rice on Gaza"


U.S. congressmen are circulating a letter urging Condoleezza Rice to end violence on the Israel-Gaza border.

The letter to the U.S. secretary of state, drafted by U.S. Reps. David Price (D-N.C.) and Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) calls for a mediated ceasefire on the border but stops short of endorsing direct negotiations with Hamas, the terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip and has enabled rocket attacks on southern Israel. The attacks have prompted an Israeli blockade, in place since January.

"Any solution to the crisis in southern Israel and Gaza must include unequivocal international condemnation of the rocket attacks, including from Arab states," the letter says. "We support and encourage your efforts to reach such an international consensus through the appropriate forums. Furthermore, any solution must end the Gaza blockade in a secure and timely manner, including the possible re-opening of the Egypt-Gaza border crossing under Palestinian Authority control. Any solution will need to address the smuggling of weapons and materials from Egypt into Gaza."

The letter is due to be sent on May 12. Among dovish pro-Israel groups, Americans for Peace Now, Brit Tzedek v'Shalom and the recently established J Street lobby group, strongly back the letter. So do the Arab American Institute and Churches for Middle East Peace, an alliance of mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.

Huffington Post: "Celebrate Israel's 60th: End the Suffering of the Palestinians" by Robert Naiman


Many Jews around the world are celebrating Israel's 60th birthday this week. Mazl tov!

Let us recall this week a wonderful Jewish tradition, shared by other faiths and nations around the world throughout history. Those who have been blessed share their blessings with the less fortunate.

Fans of Yiddish literature will remember the wonderful story "Strike of the Schnorrers," where a Jewish wedding celebration is put in peril because the poor people are on strike - and how could the celebration proceed without a meal for the poor?

So long as Palestinians cannot exercise their right of national self-determination, any celebration of Israel's independence will always be marred.

We know what we have to do. Consistent pressure from the United States can help bring about a two-state solution on the 1967 borders, a solution that has near-universal international support.

This is, in theory, U.S. policy. The question is always whether the U.S. Administration will make this policy a priority.

They would, if they heard consistently from Congress that it should be a priority.

And Congress would say consistently that it should be a priority, if they heard consistently from their constituents that it should be a priority.

This week there are several Congressional initiatives underway to advance the cause of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Representatives Kucinich and Hinchey are circulating a letter, supported by Just Foreign Policy, praising Secretary of State Rice for her stated opposition to Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank, and asking her to follow through.

Reps. Price and LaHood, supported by Americans for Peace Now, Churches for Middle East Peace, and other groups, are circulating a letter to President Bush, urging the President to seek a solution to the crisis in southern Israel and Gaza.

Meanwhile, thousands of Americans have signed a petition circulated by Just Foreign Policy and Jewish Voice for Peace in support of former President Carter's recent peace initiative, seeking to end the counterproductive campaign to exclude Hamas from efforts for peace. The petition is being delivered this week to the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.

There could hardly be a more appropriate way to celebrate than to take effective action to end needless suffering.