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American Jews Urge Netanyahu To Work With Kerry On Peace Deal

Matt Pressberg |
April 3, 2013 | 9:06 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Influential American Jews want Netanyahu to work with Hillary Clinton's successor for peace. (U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv/Flickr)
Influential American Jews want Netanyahu to work with Hillary Clinton's successor for peace. (U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv/Flickr)
One hundred prominent American Jews sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, calling on the recently re-elected leader to work with the United States toward solutions that would demonstrate “Israel’s readiness to make painful territorial sacrifices in the name of peace.”

As Haaretz reports, the letter, organized by the dovish Israel Policy Forum, makes the case that in light of President Obama’s recent trip to the region and resonant speech in Jerusalem, the time is right for Israel to take concrete steps toward a potential peace agreement based on a two-state solution and challenge Palestinian leadership to do the same.

 The letter does not contain any explicit criticisms of policies advocated by Netanyahu thus far, rather praising the prime minister for his overtures toward Turkey, which had cut all diplomatic ties with Israel over a raid on a Turkish-flagged ship headed for Gaza.

Notable signatories included philanthropist Charles Bronfman, former U.S. Rep. Mel Levine (D-Calif.), ex-AIPAC executive director Tom Dine and the last two presidents of United Reform Judaism, Rabbis Rick Jacobs and Eric Yoffie.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who accompanied President Obama on his trip, is returning to the Middle East next week, visiting Turkey, Israel and the West Bank, according to Voice of America. The letter specifically urged Netanyahu to work with Kerry in response to Obama’s “call for peace.”

According to Haaretz, Palestinian leadership plans to take a break of about eight weeks from any unilateral actions involving the United Nations or other international bodies to give Kerry time to initiate movement.

According to its website, the Israel Policy Forum is a non-profit and non-partisan group that endorses “a strong, Jewish and democratic state [of Israel] at peace with its neighbors.”

Read more of Neon Tommy’s coverage of Israel here.

Reach Executive Producer Matt Pressberg here.



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