President Obama, The Middle East and Dr. George Tiller

President Obama spoke to the Muslim world June 4th and visited Buchenwald concentration camp the next day. This juxtapostion is no accident. A new American diplomacy is taking place, one that asks the Muslim world to reject violence and anti-Semitism and accept Israel's right to exist, and, at the same time, confronts Israel on issues that may be obstacles to peace. It is a diplomacy that extends a hand to the Muslim world without backing away from US commitment to Israel and to our "unbreakable" cultural and historic ties. President Obama's resume makes him a credible messenger for American values of both tolerance and toughness. The power of his words may revive the flagging peace process.

Here in the United States, we are confronting an ongoing terrorist threat. The murder of Dr. George Tiller has alerted us that the abortion debate is not simply a matter of two sides with competing claims. It is about criminal thugs versus law-abiding citizens. The statistics on abortion-related violence, intimidation, and murder are chilling: 8 murders, 17 attempted murders, 41 bombings, 175 arsons, 406 death threats, and the list goes on... Health care professionals take their lives in their hands to provide comprehensive health care to the most vulnerable women. Dr. Tiller and his team were among the brave few willing to take that risk.

Clearly, our work at JAC is not over. We have a unique pro-Israel, pro-choice message to deliver on Capitol Hill. We need to support members of Congress who will support this President in diplomatic efforts to change the dynamics in the Middle East -- for the sake of Israel's security and our own. We need to be strong in our pro-choice advocacy, especially as the Senate prepares for hearings on Judge Sotomayor. JAC must remain strong to be effective.

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