In an article published in the Times of Israel the other day, it was noted that a recent meeting held by Sec. State John Kerry with American Jewish leaders was a “soft sell” for most of them. The “hard sell-a more organized push to market the peace talks to centrist American Jews” is supposed to begin later this month in preparation for the High Holidays.
Those of us who support We Are For Israel consider ourselves to be in the political center. We do so with good reason. A significant percentage of the Jewish community is found on each side of us in relation to the issues surrounding the peace process. You can read more about what the over 350 rabbis and many other Jewish leaders from around the world support by reading our Mission Statement and our Advocacy Statement. You can even add your name in support if you wish by clicking this link and filling out the form. Here is that of which many of us would need to be convinced to be “sold” on the process.
Let me make this clear. It is not that we do not hope for peace. Not that at all. We strongly believe in the pursuit of peace and security for the people and nation of Israel through a two state solution to the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. It is instead that we are realistic about the ability to achieve an agreement at this moment in time on the five major issues: borders, security, Jerusalem, refugees and recognition of Israel as a state for the Jewish people.
We absolutely believe in the necessity of negotiating peace with the Palestinians, but not in forcing Israel to make compromises that would jeopardize its people’s security (Jew and non-Jew alike), Israel’s future prosperity, its ability to be a homeland for the Jewish people, its general Jewish character or its democratic character.
We believe strongly in the advancement of liberty for all peoples, yet understand that sometimes preserving life requires barriers, checkpoints, and even on occasion military action.
We understand that Jerusalem is a holy place for those of many faith traditions and that Arabs, not just from a future Palestinian state, hope to have relatively easy access to its holy sites. We also know that without a profound level of security in the Old City, no one of any faith will feel safe visiting them.
Furthermore, we believe that the government of Israel knows much better than Americans, Europeans, or the United Nations what Israel needs after a peace agreement regarding borders, security arrangements, and a whole host of other issues.
Most of all, we know that Israeli citizens bear the overwhelming balance of the risk in the peace process.
Convince us that the peace process is in alignment with these positions and you will have our strong support. If not, it will indeed be a “hard sell.”