The following is a letter sent out by Jeremy Ben-Ami asking for signatures on a petition to push back against irresponsible, dangerous and regressive political rhetorical pandering by Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich in particular, but also against other candidates (e.g. Rick Perry and Ron Paul) whose concern is more for their candidacy for President than it is the well-being, safety and peace for the State of Israel and the Palestinian people. I am forwarding this as a member of the Rabbinic Cabinet of J Street and as someone who believes that silence is unacceptable.

The following are Jeremy Ben-Ami’s words:

The Palestinians are an “invented” people, says Newt Gingrich.

Israel should cede “not one acre, not one square foot, not one inch” of land to the Palestinians for peace, Michele Bachmann recently said.

Rick Perry has implicitly endorsed Israeli annexation of “Judea and Samaria,” while Ron Paul has called for an end to American aid and engagement in the Middle East.

Who’s pushing back against these off-the-wall and irresponsible comments?

Where are the candidates or elected officials from either party laying out a sensible path forward in the Middle East?

Unfortunately, they’re not speaking out because they’re not hearing loudly and clearly enough from us.

Join us in signing an open letter to the 2012 candidates saying we’ve had “ENOUGH” with dangerous political pandering on the Middle East.

Newt Gingrich may be setting the bar for irresponsibility, but the pandering isn’t a one-person or, frankly, a one-party problem.

Too many candidates looking to be pro-Israel are tripping over themselves to prove their pro-Israel bona fides by being as hawkish as possible.

In the process, they’re setting back the cause of peace and security for Israel as well as the interests of the United States.

Being pro-Israel doesn’t require demeaning the Palestinian people, approving unlimited West Bank settlement expansion, or pulling back from supporting a two-state solution.

It’s time to do something. To restore some sanity to American politics when it comes to Israel in 2012 – and to truly help Israel – we have to mobilize our friends and demonstrate our power.

Sign our call today for all presidential candidates to endorse a two-state solution and to refrain from incendiary and irresponsible rhetoric on the Middle East.

Commit just two minutes today to reclaiming what it means to be pro-Israel in American politics from those at the farthest fringes of the political debate.

Sign our petition, then send it to five of your friends and convince them to sign it and send it on to their friends as well.

Thank you for helping to change the meaning of being pro-Israel in American politics,

Jeremy Ben-Ami
President, J Street