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Bridge HoustonOn January 18th, 2009 more than 200 Triangle residents rallied in Chapel Hill in support of Israel during Operation Cast Lead.  Some of us remember the strength and enthusiasm we felt at discovering that we were not alone in our support for Israel.  
We were inspired by that event to form Voice for Israel, and we have defined our mission – “to promote solidarity with Israel through education and advocacy.”  To that end, we disseminate information via e-mail on a regular basis and at timely moments when action seems required. We have gathered by word of mouth the names and emails of over 250 members since our formation over a year ago.  We will provide a strong but polite and informed voice for Israel, joining our voices with others, including Jews and non-Jews, who support Israel.  We acknowledge the differences in approach on the part of individuals in our group, but we are strongly united in our commitment to Zionism, the proud and loving support of Israel, the national home of the Jewish people.  
In our communications, we will discuss issues and emphasize the effective use of language when discussing Israel.  We will provide public events, announce other local Israel-related programs, and suggest actions to take, such as meeting with our elected Congressional leaders.   As respectful Israel advocates, we will avoid attacks on individuals or the use of inflammatory or derogatory language.  We will assure that all our communications are voluntary, and that the use of your email is strictly protected.  Finally, we will reach out to each other, to share our love for Israel, to better educate ourselves, and to provide a Triangle “home” for the supporters of Israel.   While there are other groups who support Israel, we hope to build an authentic “grassroots” community who meet regularly to share views and support.
Since our beginning, a group of us met with one of our local North Carolina representatives, David Price, to communicate to him the need to condemn the infamous Goldstone Report.  This one-sided report blamed Israel for protecting itself from rocket attacks, and was rightly condemned in the U.S. Congress. 

We have also had several meetings with the previous and current Israeli Consul Generals for the Southeast Region, Reda Mansour and Opher Aviran, respectively. We described our efforts so far and our plans for the future, and were very happy to hear their words of support and appreciation.  They invited our leadership   to share materials and resources from the Israeli Consulate in Atlanta. We are preparing for future speaking events in our communities, and have already had a very successful one with Gil Hoffman of the Jerusalem Post.   
The Voice for Israel will be a voice for a secure and sustainable peace, a voice of clarity and reason.  Please join your voice with ours in celebration of Israel.   Let us know of your interest in our communications and lastly spread the word to all who would wish to join in support of our mission of solidarity for Israel.


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