Every time I saw one of those Obama posters with "HOPE" on it, I felt it. Hope, that is. Hope against hope that perhaps this new President would pursue a just peace with the same fervor that he pursued hope before he was elected.

And in the short time since the inauguration, we're seeing reasons to believe our hope was justified. But, here's the big challenge: Israel, Palestine, Gaza. Turning hope into reality comes down to how President Obama deals with this ongoing tragedy. This week's announcement of George Mitchell as Middle East envoy -- the man who helped broker peace in Northern Ireland-- signals that Obama is serious about even-handed diplomacy. For so many, our hope is that Mitchell and Obama will now take serious and meaningful steps towards a just and true peace.

It's a tall order, we know. But the momentum that began on inauguration day won't last long, and the cease fire in Gaza has only ceased the worst of the bombs and violence. We have a window and we must take advantage of it. We must hope - and HOPE BIG. Please join Jewish Voice for Peace and Just Foreign Policy in asking President Obama to make good on his promise of hope.

Please read our letter and add your name, and then ask your like-minded friends to do the same. We're aiming to deliver our letter on February 23. Then download our Hope posters and put them in your windows or on your wall. Obama has said that he needs people like us to demand action loudly and visibly. Now is our moment. We must keep the pressure on.

Thank you for doing your part.

Here is the link to the letter:

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Thanks, Marisol!

Hello Tatiana,

For some reason, the link works for me. Here is a copy of the petition:

Dear President Obama,

Your presidency marks the beginning of a new era in America and in the world. Against all odds and maybe even our own better judgment, you taught us to hope again. Now, the crisis in Gaza demands that you match our hope with real progress. And, just to be clear, those who voted for you aren't the only ones doing the hoping.

We are Americans who voted for you and we are Palestinians and Israelis a world away. We are the women, men, and children who are suffering every single day in Gaza and Israel and we are the people who seek to heal their suffering. We are mothers of soldiers and children of refuseniks. We are Jews and Muslims, Christians and Atheists. We are united in our call to you today:

Please, support peace for the people of Gaza and Israel.

Press for an end to the blockade of Gaza, so that the people there can have food, medicine, fuel, and basic necessities. That is the only way that they can live, thrive, and rebuild their economy.

Talk to everyone, including Hamas. The late Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban said, "You make peace by talking to your enemies." This holds true today. Even a majority of American Jews support negotiations even with Israelis "worst enemies."

Back up talk with actions. This includes monitoring arms smuggling into Gaza and U.S. military aid to Israel. These
weapons are killing mostly children and civilians.

And, support the Peace Plan. 57 countries around the world support this plan that provides independence and support for both Israel and Palestine. Peace Plan supporters won't wait for the United States forever – and without the United States, it won't happen. It's that simple.

President Obama, we will continue to hope, and to support your efforts. Please, don't let us down. Please deliver the promise of hope.


This is the link, as it showed up for me:
This follows on from what I wrote above. The link does not show up here as it did on the computer, the numbers 1814 follow on immediately after the = sign

The group is called Jewish Voice for Peace, and they subtitle their group name with:
Israelis and Palestinians,
Two peoples, one future.

If you sign the petition, you show which country you come from, so the petition is not exclusive to American and Israeli citizens, just those who define themselves as Palestinians or Israelis. Well, that is how I read it.
Thanks for your posting, Marisol. I have signed the petition to Obama and forwarded it to friends. I was frankly deeply disappointed by his statement a few days ago re: the Gaza massacre (see posting here with Chomsky's response). Like you, however, I believe that the public must speak out loudly and clearly at every opportunity, with the hope that Obama will keep his promise to listen and respond.
Hello all of you that have been following this discussion. I need to apologize because even everything the letter I posted here I agree with ...those are not my words. That is a letter I have received from the group Jewish Voice for Peace. I am not jewish, but I agree with what they are saying... and I have signed the petition.
It's really awful. As a mediterranean and history teacher, I was always aware that around these waters there were more things in common than apart. Have been trying to spread the facts all my active life, but I must confess that mediterraneans are also, envious, greedy and ancestral enemies of one another. Like this organisation, there are wonderful people like Daniel Barenboim and his Palestinian-Israeli Orchestra that fills us with hope. lets all support the peace idea. Thanks Marisol for sharing! Hug. Antonia


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