Why Avaaz is Running this Ad re: Obama, Bibi and Middle East Peace

Friends,  I just wanted to give you a heads up that over at Avaaz.org we have decided to run this Ad ahead of the Obama-Netanyahu face-off on Monday.

The Ad — titled “Leadership” will run during the Sunday talk shows in the DC market.  We have been inspired to take this step by a stunning poll of Israeli-Jews suggesting that 65% want President Obama actively involved in helping solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  

The Ad draws attention to the controversial statement made by new, right-wing Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman that Obama will do as he’s told. This comment runs counter to the sentiment expressed in our poll of Lieberman’s fellow Israelis, carried out by major Israeli polling institute Hagal Hahadash, which shows that a majority of respondents believe Obama could help bring about a two-state agreement (53% said he could help a lot or somewhat to achieve this, and only 19.2% answered not at all).  

Significantly, most respondents also believe Obama is more trustworthy than their own prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (59% said that the phrase “honest and trustworthy” described Obama well or very well, whereas only 31% said it described Netanyahu well or very well), a fact illustrated in the Ad which calls Israeli and Palestinian leaders “failed.”

Our findings correlate with other polls showing the American public in general and American Jews in particular want President Obama to work for Middle East peace.  

The Ad speaks for “ordinary people on all sides” who want Obama to lead and is funded through a new global citizens’ movement working for peace.  

We believe that the majority of Israelis and Palestinians alike still want peace — but their leaders have failed.

We also know that Obama’s inclination is to lead – to blaze a trail towards Middle East peace. He has said that he wants history to judge his Presidency by recognizing that he tackled the toughest problems facing the US and the international community. With this Ad we are saying clearly that we support such an effort.  

President Obama’s desire to tackle the biggest challenges resonates in this community and with our membership, a new global optimistic people’s movement that has emerged, throwing off the shackles of the past, to say that peace is now possible in the Middle East. It is committed to a new process of equity and opportunity.  

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