BOSTON — Braving nine inches of snow, more than 200 people came to Temple Israel of Boston on February 5 to express support for negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. The event was co-sponsored by J Street and the Two-State Task Force at Temple Israel.
Rabbi Jeremy Morrison of Temple Israel welcomed attendees. Retired IDF Major General and current Knesset coalition member Amram Mitzna was the featured speaker. Mitzna, who holds graduate degrees from Haifa University and Harvard, served as mayor of Haifa and Yeruham, before being elected to parliament.
“There is no other alternative” to a two-state solution, Mitzna said. He described the current peace talks as “very energetic,” and believes that such an opportunity might never arise again. As he put it, “The window of opportunity in the Middle East is still open — very narrow, but still open. But not for a long time.”
An agreement with the Palestinians, Mitzna said, would bring economic, security and diplomatic benefits for Israel, as well as allow Israel to maintain its identity as “a democracy with a Jewish majority.”
J Street founder and president Jeremy Ben-Ami encouraged the crowd to sign on to the 2 Campaign, J Street’s mobilization of support for the peace talks.
Today in Israel, Ben-Ami said, “a solid majority of both Jews and Palestinians understands and supports the need for a negotiated two-state solution,” as do 80 percent of American Jews.
Ambassador Alan Solomont described his extended family’s broadening roots in Israel, and recalled how his personal connection to Israel began with picking apples on a kibbutz over 40 years ago.
“Our prosperity here at home is linked to Israel’s prosperity and safety, today and in the future,” Solomont said, adding that he also supported “a viable Palestinian state to fulfill the aspirations of the Palestinian people.”
Tucker Lieberman, J Street Boston’s social media chair, writes from Brighton.