New York, NY, October 19, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) have joined together to encourage other national organizations, elected officials, religious leaders, community groups and individuals to join them in signing the "National Pledge for Unity on Israel." This initiative aims to rally bipartisan support for Israel while preventing the Jewish State from becoming a wedge issue in the upcoming campaign season.
"If there is one thing candidates for high office, and people of all political stripes can agree on, it is the importance of the long tradition of bipartisan support for our friend and ally, Israel," said AJC Executive Director David Harris.
"We want the discourse on U.S. support for Israel to avoid the sometimes polarizing debates and political attacks that have emerged in recent weeks, as candidates have challenged their opponents' pro-Israel bone fides or questioned the current administration's foreign policy approach vis-à-vis Israel," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "The last thing America and Israel need right now is the distractions of having Israel bandied about as a tool for waging political attacks."
Visit www.adl.org/unitypledge to sign "The National Pledge for Unity on Israel." As more sign on to the pledge, a list of the individuals, organizations and elected leaders will be made public by ADL and AJC.
The following is the full text of the ADL-AJC pledge:
In an ever-changing world, the enduring friendship between the United States and Israel has been a constant, supported overwhelmingly by the American people since the founding of the Jewish State. Americans from across the political spectrum consistently identify with and care deeply about Israel.
America's friendship with Israel is an emotional, moral and strategic bond that has always transcended politics. Support for Israel has never been merely a plank in a Republican or Democratic Party or candidate's platform. It is a core American policy that serves our nation's most fundamental national interests. Indeed, for the past six decades, every American President and Congressional leaders in both parties have championed the shared values and outlook that bind the two nations.
This broad bipartisan backing has been vital to America's interests and to Israel's security throughout decades of war and a constant struggle for survival. We salute the long line of American leaders who have moved beyond their often bitter policy differences over issues of the day to stand shoulder to shoulder together on the side of a strong and enduring U.S.-Israel relationship.
The Jewish community has had a strong interest in ensuring that American support for Israel is one of the critical strategic issues that unites rather than divides parties and officials. U.S. – Israel friendship should never be used as a political wedge issue. At a time when Israel is confronting new dangers and challenges in a fast changing Middle East, the United States must continue to project to the world the solid support of the American people and their elected representatives for Israel's rights and quest for peace and security. U.S. leadership in the efforts to achieve an agreement resolving the conflict that results in two states—the Jewish state of Israel and a Palestinian state, living side by side in peaceful coexistence—is more critical than ever.
Now is the time to reaffirm that Israel's well-being is best served, as it has always been, by American voices raised together in unshakeable support for our friend and ally.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.