A SPEECH WORTH REMEMBERING

by mgopin on December 7, 2009 · 2 comments

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I think it bears republishing now, at this time, Jeremy Ben Ami’s speech at J street. It is one of the most powerful and inspiring and pragamatic speeches I can remember on the incredibly complex and disheartening Israeli/Palestinian conflict. I am thinking that now is the time to keep our eye on the ball of pragmatism, shunning despair, and encouraging everyone to take advantage of Obama, Mitchell, a new Turkey, an eager Syria, and a possible prisoner deal, while ignoring the dangers of Iran, the persistence of religious radicals in all the faiths, the sham of the freeze and the outrage of Palestinian dispossession in Jerusalem. Pragmatism and hope, persistence in a forward march. These are the ingredients of victory in history.  CRDC  is coupling a persistent push for negotiations with very practical expressions of support for and investment in the honest people of Palestine. We must put our voices and pocketbooks behind this march to the future.

Here is an excerpt from Ben-Ami’s speech:

We rally tonight around this simple premise: that the security and very future of the Jewish, democratic homeland in Israel is at risk without an end to the conflict and to the occupation of the Palestinian people.

The work begun in the generations before ours to build a nation in the image of our people to be the home of our people will only be complete when Israel has defined borders, a Palestinian state has been established next door and the rest of the region and the world recognizes Israel and accepts its existence.

Our presence here in such numbers and with such energy demonstrates the powerful base of political support ready to back active pursuit and achievement of comprehensive, regional peace in the Middle East – as an urgent priority not a distant, almost meaningless, aspiration.

We do not want the United States to simply be a passive facilitator of fruitless negotiation. No – as President Obama has said, we have had enough talking about talking.

Be sure to read the whole speech, or watch it on video, at J Street’s website.

© Marc Gopin

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