Think Progress posted a video of Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele addressing a “right-wing pro-Israeli settler” rally on May 23 in New York’s Central Park:
In their post on Monday, Think Progress expressed an interest in hearing the RNC chairmanÂ “explain how the Obama administration’s request for — and its Congressional “collaborators’” approval of —Â an additional $205 million in assistance for Israel for the “Iron Dome” short-range missile defense system squares with his assertion that the U.S. is ‘leaving Israel to fend for herself.'”
Debra DeLee, president and CEO ofÂ Americans for Peace Now wrote a letter to Steele on May 17, urging him not to speak at the Central Park rally. The letter read in part:
Real friends of Israel know that Israel needs practical negotiations — not radical slogans — to achieve peace. Encouraging groups like Friends of Ateret Cohanim and the Hebron Fund, the co-sponsors of “Israel Day,” makes it more difficult for Israel to reach the peace it deserves. These groups lead efforts to thrust provocative Jewish settlements into Palestinian towns and neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Such efforts are intended to hinder a future Palestinian rule over the West Bank and East Jerusalem and therefore jeopardize the viability of a two-state solution.
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