A number of CALME luminaries have been speaking out in support of Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking:
* Most recently, a top Reconstructionist and a top Reform rabbi joined a multidenominational delegation of religious leaders led by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, who met with Rice on Monday to encourage her to press Israel and the Palestinians into making peace.
* “Somebody’s got to help break the stalemate,” said [Rabbi Jerome] Epstein, who signed a December letter to Rice from the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East that led to Monday’s meeting. “I would encourage both sides to do it between themselves, but that isn’t necessarily working, as we have seen on a regular basis.”
*Rabbi Amy Small, a former president of the Reconstructionist movement who was at the meeting, said rabbis were natural interlocutors for peaceful intervention. “The Jewish community prays for peace,” she said outside the State Department after the delegation met with Rice. “If we can achieve that, it will be celebrated.”
*Rabbi Paul Menitoff, an executive vice president emeritus of the Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis, said the U.S. role was critical to nudging the sides forward. “The leadership of the United States is going to be not only to get the parties to the table, but to get concessions from both sides,” he said.
* The religious leaders who met with Rice have some allies in the pro-Israel community. Notably the Israel Policy Forum has commended her for pushing forward, and Americans for Peace Now and Brit Tzedek v’Shalom also are sympathetic.
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