We Did It! Check Out Our NY Times Ad Against War with Iran


Today, our ad saying “No” to a first strike (preemptive attack) by either Israel or the U.S. on Iran appeared in the New York Times (in the National Edition it is on page A19).
The media has distorted what has been going on between Obama and Netanyahu, representing it as Obama standing up to Netanyahu and being a hero for peace. But actually what happened is that Obama legitimated a first strike and preemptive attack on Iran, arguing with Netanyahu about the timing of such an attack, seeking to allow coercive economic sanctions to work first, but stating explicitly that Israel should not be constrained in any way to follow what it decides to be in its best national interest in regard to a strike on Iran. That’s why AIPAC gave him a standing ovation when Obama addressed them a few days ago.
Obama has now fully embraced the militarist position of George W. Bush who argued that it was legitimate for the U.S. to take a preemptive attack on Iraq based on the suspicion that they had nuclear weapons, just as Obama two months ago gave the green light to legislation that allows the US to imprison for life without a trial U.S. citizens the govenrnment suspects to be cooperating in some way with terrorists, and just as he has taken the lead in developing drone technology aimed at civilians (which Pentagon militarists say may soon be used inside the U.S.). The media ignores this significant tilt toward militarism in the policies and rhetoric of Obama, and its potential for building even more support for the right wing policies that were once considered extremist in US politics. In so doing, Obama has set a lasting precedent that can be cited by other countries in the future should China, Russia or India ever get to the point where they have sufficient military advances to use the strategy of preemptive attacks against Israel or even the U.S. The ethical foundation for this has been set by Obama’s AIPAC speech and his green light to Israel to attack Iran should they feel the need to do so. His caution of restraint is only about the timing, not about the legitimacy of first strike or preemptive attack.
The media has blocked this position out of public discourse. Our own attempt and the attempt of other peace groups to raise this issue through op-eds and public statements has been totally ignored. That’s why we had to buy the ad in the NY Times, and why we now need to continue this campaign against preemptive strikes by taking similar ads in Israeli and US media. We need your help (and your understanding that we will make these points but may frame some of the sentences differently to make the ad feel up to date by the time we’ve raised enough money to publish it in Israel and in US media). Would you help us do that by donating for this ongoing media campaign at www.tikkun.org/iran, or at least by adding your name to the 2,700 people who signed the ad by the morning of March 7. You do NOT have to donate to add your name, though the donations will help us spread this message beyond the NY Times!
Of course, if you have any influence with local or national media, please contact them and ask them to write about our perspective and interview some of the signatories. As we had indicated in an earlier note, those who gave $300 or more were listed on the ad, but the other thousands couldn’t fit on the page even if we had had nothing but names on the ad, so we had to simply give the email link and could not feature some of our important signatories like Cornel West, Rabbi Philip Bentley, Rabbi Everett Gendler and Dr Mary Gendler, Rev. Tony Campolo, or most of the rest of you to whom I’m writing this note. Yet everyone who signed and/or donated deserves the credit for having made this ad possible. And the rest of you could still help NOW by donating or signing the ad so that we can continue this campaign. Supporting this ad is a form of non-violent political action. And as we say in the ad, “The only path to peace is a path of peace and non-violence; our means must be as holy as our ends.”
If you haven’t done it yet, please send a note to everyone on your Facebook, Twitter, and your largest email lists, including all your personal friends, inviting them to sign and donate to the ad, and explaining why you want them to sign it at www.tikkun.org/iran
So, THANK YOU for helping us take the leadership in this struggle for the ethical and spiritual well-being of the U.S. and Israel. As we say in the ad: we need our leaders to “break the cycles of violence that have physically, ethically and spiritually wounded the human race for so much of its history.” And yet, as we say in the ad after affirming “a strategy of generosity,” as depicted in our Global Marshall Plan (have you downloaded the full version of it at www.spiritualprogressives.org/GMP and read it through?), “We offer this in a spirit of humility, knowing that no one can be sure of what is going to happen in the future, but certain that what has happened in the past with the domination approach to the world’s problems has often led to worse disasters than whatever it was designed to forestall.”

0 thoughts on “We Did It! Check Out Our NY Times Ad Against War with Iran

    “Some of us who signed this ad believe that even a nuclear Iran – faced with the certainty that its first aggressive use of nuclear weapons would engender a massive retaliation sufficient to kill most of the people of Iran – would not dare take a first nuclear strike against Israel or the United States”
    These are the kind of words that Lerner and his cult followers clueless and insignificant. Does Lerner understand the kind of leverage Iran would have with a nuclear weapon? Does he understand the dangers of Hezbollah or other getting their hands o that technology? What I man seeing here is a call for Israel two grin an bear it, a nuclear Iran is acceptable. While I hear a blogger rant here about the offensive words of religious fanatic, Pat Robertson, he has no problem with religious fanatics getting their hand on a nuclear weapon. Pat Robertson’s only power is with words, he can not bury a city in a mushroom cloud.
    Iran is intent in eliminating the Jewish presence in the region. he has lady been behind many terror attacks targeting Jewish targets around the world, mots prominent being that attack on the Jewish community center in Buenos Aries.
    Lerner [personal attack omitted] … you live in Berkeley, California, not under the shadow of tis threat in Israel. You have NO RIGHT to assure Israelis that a nuclear Iran is no threat. You will not be paying the price. You DO NOT have Israel’s back, you would rather throw the only Jewish state in the world under the bus.
    No one knows if Israel will act or not, but I am all for choking the life blood from the Iranian regime and cause a Persian spring
    I am sure we will see an invitation extended to you by Ahmadinejad, perhaps he wold want to make you a human shield.You can be his token Jew. I wish yo a festive Purim as we the Jews once again faces a threat from Persia.

  2. I was glad to sign this statement. Political expediency and war-mongering should not dictate foreign policy.
    Once again, as before the Iraq war of 2003, we hear the myth of the “mushroom cloud,” although fortunately no more arcane “weapons of mass destruction” phrases. How eager some politicians are to repeat that disastrous war, and with a country that has a population many times greater than Iraq. Do we need to bankrupt ourselves further, and risk a regional war that will kill Israelis and Americans, and draw world attention away from Syria?
    Also, does anyone realize that Pakistan, which created the Taliban, has nuclear weapons? Why are Netanyahu and the Republican Presidential candidates not calling for a strike (or better yet, a crusade!) against this Islamic state? Why not kill hundreds of millions of people instead a mere few hundred thousand?
    After overthrowing Iran’s elected government in 1953, setting up a secret police (SAVAK) that eliminated all democratic and socialist opposition, and then spurring Iraq to invade in 1980, leading to an 8-year protracted war, the United States and its ally Israel say, “Iran is a threat.” If it were not for the United States and Israel, the oppressive religious rulers of Iran would have been overthrown by their own people years ago. Ahmadinejad is already on the way out anyway, and the economic sanctions are making a shambles of the Iranian economy. Yes, diplomacy and sanctions may work before the demagogues have a chance to go to war.

  3. Hey DPG,
    Get your time line right. The Iran Iraq war started in 1980, which means that President Carter would have been the one “spurring” the war with Iran, I doubt he was capable of starting a war the as waiting to happen

  4. I bet Lerner reads these.
    Lerner, you represent the scourge of Judaism. You’re one of those that died in the gas chamber justifying the Nazis’ behavior, since the week before then you were sipping coffee in a Berlin coffee house denouncing the Aliya movement.
    Shame on you. No one’s demonizing Iran or warmongering. We’re just standing up for ourselves. Especially in today’s world, that’s quite a meaningful thing to do. What do you stand behind? Some ill-conceived, hapless notion of universalism?
    Whatever delusions you have about your sanity and your new-age liberalism – – to keep things short, you got it wrong.

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