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Liberal-minded American Jews launch 'yes' campaign.

Summary: WASHINGTON: As Netanyahu met with Obama at the White House, a "Community of Yes" advertisement campaign began by J Street, a "pro-Israel, pro-peace" left-wing lobby based in Washington. Its purpose, the organizers say, is to support the "bold US leadership in the Middle East" and to achieve a two state solution.

By BARBARA FERGUSON | ARAB NEWS

J Street launched a new media campaign in late June aimed at encouraging the American administration to take greater initiative in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Entitled the "Community of Yes," the campaign aims to "say 'enough!' to the 'chorus of no,'" according to J Street's Vice President of Communications, Isaac Luria.

"There are people trying to turn support for Israel into a political football," Luria recently told reporters. "People like (radio personality Rush) Limbaugh, Sarah Palin or (Republican Congressman) Eric Cantor. This is in part a fight against the tea-partyization of the pro-Israel position."

It comes as a response to what the organization views as the politicization of support for Israel by some on the American Right.

"People are tired of being told you are either with us or against us," J Street founder Jeremy Ben-Ami told The New York Times in May. "The majority of American Jews support the president, support the two-state solution and do not feel that they have been well represented by organizations that demand obedience to every wish of the Israeli government."

The "Community of Yes" is more than just a group of liberal-minded American Jews. It is a collaborative effort of Jews, Muslims and Christians. It is backed by Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, Churches for Middle East Peace, the Foundation for Middle East Peace, Meretz USA, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and YesMEP.

The aim of the campaign ad, said the organizers, is to counter the "Chorus of No," by US politicians and other public figures "who use fear mongering to prop up an untenable status quo as a platform for rejecting efforts to resolve the conflict."

The group said it wanted to highlight the "growing chaos and violence in the region, including the recent Gaza flotilla tragedy, the ad juxtaposes statements from the 'Chorus of No' - Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Rep. Mike Pence, among them - with Obama's pledge of an unwavering commitment to end the conflict.

Their website, www.communityofyes.org, shows the ad and will track the number of individual actions taken as the campaign unfolds over the coming months.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Jul 8, 2010
Words:422
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