The Jewish Peace Lobby - Background

Founded in 1989, The Jewish Peace Lobby is an American Jewish organization which seeks to promote a just and lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The organization is now made up of over 5,000 members and 400 rabbis. JPL has worked on issues such as on-the-ground Israeli-Palestinian cooperation. In addition to JPL's grassroots efforts, it works closely with Israeli, Palestinian, European and American policy-makers.

The Jewish Peace Lobby - What We Do

JPL has, over the years, taken the lead. We advocated certain key positions at a time when they were highly controversial. These include:
  • Israel should negotiate with the PLO
  • The conflict should be resolved through the two-state solution
  • Jerusalem must be shared by the two states
  • Settlements must be brought to a halt
  • The US must be deeply engaged and in a balanced manner
  • The US should put on the table, a full American plan for ending the conflict
As appropriate, we urge our members to communicate on these issues to the President and members of Congress.

However, on a day to day basis, our main work is not on this level of generality. It is not enough to call for a shared Jerusalem or for a solution to the refugee problem. There is a need for new ideas about how to achieve these goals, and how to do so in ways that Israelis and Palestinians can accept. Thus, we function somewhat as an engaged think tank.

What sets JPL apart is that JPL's primary focus and daily work is on a) developing new ideas on specific final status issues or b) on the process of making peace. We focus on topics such as Palestinian refugees, the Temple Mount, Hamas, alternatives to bilateral negotiations, the role of the United Nations.

We do more than develop new ideas, we work both in Washington and in Jerusalem to bring such ideas to a broad range of policy makers: the US Government, the PLO, the Israeli government, the Israeli opposition, UN officials, governments of other UN Security Council members states. To this end we use most of our funds to support our Israel office.

Jerome M. Segal - President

Dr. Segal's latest book - Negotiating Jerusalem (SUNY Press, 2000).  It was co-authored with Shlomit Levy, Nadar Izzat Sa'id, and Elihu Katz.

Dr. Segal's latest book - Negotiating Jerusalem (SUNY Press, 2000).  It was co-authored with Shlomit Levy, Nadar Izzat Sa'id, and Elihu Katz.

 

Dr. Jerome M. Segal is a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Intenational and Strategic Studies as well as a Research Scholar at the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at the University of Maryland.  In addition, he is President and founder of The Jewish Peace Lobby.

Initially trained as a philosopher, Dr. Segal received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.  He taught for several years in the Philosophy Department of the University of Pennsylvania.  He then returned to school, and received an MPA from the Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs (University of Minnesota).

Between 1975-79 he served as an aide to Congressman Donald M. Fraser (D-MN), first at the United Nations and then in Washington.  In that capacity he was the Administrator of the House Budget Committee's Task Force on Distributive Impacts of Economic Policy.

Starting in 1979 he worked in the U.S. Agency for International Development, first as Coordinator for the Near East, and then as Senior Advisor for Agency Planning.  During the 1980's he returned to the academic world.

Since 1982 he has been active in the American Jewish peace movement.  In the Spring of 1987 he was part of the first American Jewish delegation to meet with the PLO leadership (then in Tunis).  During 1988 he played a role in the events leading up to the opening of the U.S./PLO dialogue in December 1988.  Earlier that year his essays in Palestinian and American papers played a catalytic role in the PLO's decision to issue a Declaration of Independence and launch a unilateral peace initiative.  In 1989 he started the Jewish Peace Lobby, which is now an organization of roughly 4500 people including some 400 rabbis.

Dr. Segal is the author of five books, "Creating the Palestinian State" (Lawrence Hill, 1989), "Agency and Alienation - a Theory of Human Presence" (Rowman and Littlefield, 1991), "Graceful Simplicity -- Toward a  Philosophy and Politics of Simple Living" (Henry Holt, 1999), "Negotiating Jerusalem" (co-author) (SUNY Press, 2000) and "Joseph's Bones: Understanding the Struggle Between God and Mankind in the Bible" (Riverhead, 2008).  He is the author of over 50 op-ed pieces on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and over 100 radio and TV appearances.

Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland                       Institute for Philosphy & Public Policy

Go to the Center for International and Security Studies and the Institute for Philosophy & Public Policy, both at the University of Maryland.

JPL Founding Statement

Read the JPL Founding Statement as written in its establishment on 1989.


The Jewish Peace Lobby


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