Today, with both sadness and excitement, I announced that I am leaving Congress in January to accept the position of President of the Center for Middle East Peace, a non-profit institute devoted to achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
This decision was not easy: I love my job and my devoted staff, and have a long, close relationship with my constituents – many of whom I’ve served for nearly 20 years.
Throughout my 13 years in Congress, I sought to be an advocate for democratic values and provide a voice to vitally important progressive causes. Whether it was working to end the use of torture by the Bush Administration, fighting for a legitimate vote during election 2000, successfully pushing for a voter verified paper trail in Florida, or our shared quest for genuine accountability these last few years – I’m proud of the stands I’ve taken. I am even prouder to have had you standing with me.
Those who have followed my career know that in addition to the progressive causes I have championed, one of my overriding passions has been my work on the Foreign Affairs Committee helping to ensure the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel, and promoting a comprehensive peace between Israel and the Palestinians and Israel and the Arab world.
While I regret that I will be unable to complete my current term in office, I truly believe we are at a unique and critically tense moment in the history of the Middle East and decisions made today will shape the world for years to come. There is no time to waste.
The work on issues of accountability did not start with me, nor will it end with me leaving office. This movement has always been driven by you – and your support for the vital causes we have worked on together.
One of the great lessons I learned in my time in Congress I learned from you - and it is this: If you stand up for and defend the Constitution and rule of law, you will gain the support of hundreds of thousands of citizens across the country.
Thank you for having being part of my team and, most especially, for being brave American patriots.