The Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia offers two opportunities for community members to demonstrate their support for Israel and their opposition to a unilaterally declared Palestinian state.
According to JCRC Chairman Rabbi David J. Straus, "The time is quickly approaching when the United Nations General Assembly may hold a vote on whether or not to endorse a unilaterally declared Palestinian state," adding that "President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority is expected to give a speech to the U.N. on Sept. 20."
While the JCRC concurs with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that "the ultimate goal of the peace process is two states for two peoples: a Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state," it maintains that "true peace" can only be achieved through bilateral negotiations between both parties. "Any attempt to use the United Nations as a vehicle to isolate and build diplomatic pressure on Israel cannot be condoned," Straus explains.
The Philadelphia JCRC, in conjunction with the JCRC in New York and the Israel Action Network, has launched an online petition campaign to reject unilateral declaration and promote bilateral negotiations. To date, over 52,500 people have signed the petition. "Many more signatures are needed to maximize impact," says Straus, who urges those concerned about the future of Israel to do the following:
1. Visit https://jcrcny.wufoo.com/forms/petition-against-a-unilaterally-declared-palestine to add your name to the petition.
2. Circulate the petition to your social and organizational networks via email, Facebook and Twitter. When posting to Twitter, please use the hashtag #Sign4Peace.
Should you have any questions, contact Adam Kessler, JCRC director, at [email protected]
Straus also encourages strong community participation in the "Support Israel/Support Peace" sign and banner campaign. The campaign, which launched immediately following Labor Day, is an effort of the Israel Action Coalition, a group of diverse organizations throughout the Greater Philadelphia area that advocate on behalf of Israel. The JCRC is the convener of this coalition and is inviting Jewish community organizations and individuals to participate.
The IAC is making available signs and banners free of charge to prominently display on front lawns or in other high visibility locations. Display materials are available in a variety of sizes and formats.
Individuals or groups can order single or double-sided banners either 60×36 inches or 96×48 inches along with posts suitable for hanging; double-sided 18×24-inch lawn signs, (the kind popular during election time) or electronic versions of the sign that can be printed at home for display in a window.
To order the signs, contact Salena Camara at 215-832-0659 or [email protected]
"On behalf of all the IAC member organizations," said Straus, "we thank you in advance for your participation in this campaign to state clearly and loudly that we stand with Israel and support her in her continued quest for peace."