Say "No" to Netanyahu's Attempt to Drag the US into a War with Iran

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Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is coming to the US March 3rd to speak to a joint session of the US Congress to popularize the idea that the U.S. should essentially make impossible Obama’s efforts to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran, hence putting the U.S. and Israel on path toward war with Iran.
We are taking a full-page ad in the NY Times, if we get enough people to donate to make it happen. We need YOU to sign the ad at tikkun.org/PeaceProject and to donate generously. Here are some guidelines to consider: People of means might consider donating between $1,000 to $5,000. People with incomes above $60,000/yr might $400 to $300 (and anyone giving $300 or more will have their name appear on the ad itself, though the ad will also have a link to all the people who sign the ad). Any amount you give will help us reach the amount we need to make this statement possible. We hate giving this money to the Times, but they won’t print our op-eds and the national media is already filled with ads from the militarists supporting the Netanyahu position. Another voice needs to be heard–and we at Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives are making this happen.
This is not an ad for Jews only–it is already being signed by leading figures in the Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, and HIndu worlds as well as by secular humanists and atheists of every possible ethnic, religious and national background (people from around the world are invited to sign and donate). If you want your organization listed as a co-sponsor, the minimum it can donate for that is $2,000, and any that donate $20,000 or more will get a significant chunk of space in the ad for higher visibility at the bottom of the ad.
You may often feel powerless when reading about the craziness of what the current Congress is doing, what Netanyahu is doing, and the way that Obama too often ends up compromising with the Right-wingers. HERE IS SOMETHING YOU CAN DO: Donate now and donate generously, stretch beyond your normal capacity, to make this ad happen. You can sign the ad and then donate at tikkun.org/PeaceProject.
In addition, please also post this letter on your Facebook or other social media, put info about this ad on your twitter feeds, and send a personal note to your largest lists asking everyone on them to go to tikkun.org/PeaceProject and sign up to endorse and donate to this ad. That’s the way this can happen. We have to have this to the NY Times by Tuesday, so act now please.

Please read and sign below. You may also view a PDF version of how the ad will look when it is published in U.S and Israeli newspapers, and in online media. Remember, this ad will only be possible if you and others donate generously (please stretch a little) to make it possible. Donate Now.


No, Mr. Netanyahu – you do not speak for American Jews.

  • Every poll indicates that a majority of American Jews (and most non-Jews) support President Obama’s attempt to negotiate a settlement that would prohibit Iranian development of nuclear weapons rather than the Netanyahu approach of undermining those negotiations.
  • Every poll indicates that a majority of American Jews oppose the expansion of West Bank settlements that Netanyahu favors, and support the creation of an independent Palestinian state living in peace with Israel.

And… The American People Do Not Want a War with Iran!
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s attempt to shape American foreign policy toward Iran is unwelcome. A poll in February showed 62% of Americans opposed the way that the Republican leadership had invited Netanyahu to speak. Choosing to make his American visit a few days ahead of Israeli elections lead some to suspect that his visit is a tactic to help build support for his political party. Misleadingly, much of the media quotes “American Jewish leaders” who support Netanyahu – but those leaders are not elected by American Jews and the media should be quoting leaders who represent the majority sentiments of American Jews who have long been committed to peace and reconciliation with the Palestinian people. While many of us hope to see the people of Iran non-violently work to transform Iranian society to foster democracy and human rights, we know that war with Iran will only strengthen the hold of the Islamic fundamentalists and decrease the security of Americans and of Jews around the world. So we oppose the efforts of some in Congress and the Netanyahu faction in Israel who together seek to derail negotiations with Iran.
We who sign this ad are American Jews and our non-Jewish allies who oppose any attempt to drag the American people into another war. We remember the way that the Bush Administration lied us into a war with Iraq by providing false information about a non-existent threat of Iraqi nuclear weapons. We do not need a repeat of that scenario as militarists in Israel and the U.S. once again use the fear of non-existent nuclear weapons to manipulate us into another war. It is not in the interests of the U.S., Israel or the people of the world.
The U.S. spent over a trillion dollars on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The outcome was to produce the Islamic State armed with weapons brought to the region by the U.S. The strategy of domination over those identified as “evil others” and used by the U.S. and Israel as the path to homeland security has not worked. Using force, violence, wars, bombings, torture, and coercion has been tried for the past five thousand years and it has not produced a world of peace or security. It is time to switch from full spectrum dominance to a Strategy of Generosity. That same trillion dollars could have been used to create a Global Marshall Plan that could have wiped out global and domestic poverty, homelessness, hunger, inadequate education and inadequate health care – thereby demonstrating to the world a U.S. that cares for the well-being of others.
The Islamic extremists and others who resort to violence would have a much harder time recruiting fighters and supporters to struggles against the West if we were known to the world (and Israel were known to the Palestinian people) through our generosity rather than through our military and economic power to dominate and advance the interests of our own corporations at the expense of everyone else, meanwhile humiliating traditional cultures and ancient religions. The “realists” scoff at such thinking – yet their strategies have continually failed for thousands of years.
So even while some of the signatories to this letter do not oppose the use of force in extreme circumstances like WWII or stopping ISIS/Islamic State, we do believe it’s time to give generosity and caring for others a real chance, not only because it is in our self-interest, but also because the capitalist ethos of materialism, selfishness, looking out for number one, and winning through intimidation has created distortions in our own society that are as destructive to us and our families as is the globalization of these values destructive to the lives of people around the world. It is time for what Jews call “tikkun”–healing and transformation–not for more wars and domination. Let’s start now with a Global Marshall Plan!


Now it’s time for you to let your voice be heard. Show your support by signing below!
Please make a financial contribution if you want to see this ad appear in the NY Times and other U.S. and Israeli media. (But please be sure to still enter your information below and sign first).

Signatories (institutions listed only for identification purposes and the names listed here are only samples of those who have already signed the ad):Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor Tikkun Magazine
Peter Gabel, Editor at Large, Tikkun Magazine
Cat Zavis, Executive Director of the Network of Spiritual Progressives
Mark Levine, Professor of Political Science, UC Irvine
Dr. Aaron J. Hahn Tapper, Director Jewish Studies Program, University of San Francisco
Prof. Shaul Magid , Chair of Jewish Studies in Modern Judaism at Indiana University
Dr. Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco
Dr. Phillip Wolfson, Psychiatrist, San Francisco
Prof. Cynthia Moe Lobeda, Author of Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation
Dr. Deborah Kory, Psychologist
Josh Healey, Poet, Comedian, Community Organizer
Ana Levy-Lyons Unitarian Minister
Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg
Dr. Maynard Seider
Erik van Praag
Dr. Helen Fox, University of Michigan
Prof. Hasia R. Diner, New York University
Prof. Stewart Newman, NY Medical College
Barbara Green
Lester Grinspoon, M.D. Harvard Medical School
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum
Estelle Frankel, Author Sacred Therapy
Douglas Mirell
Rabbi. Aryeh Cohen, associate professor of rabbinic literature at American Jewish University

To Sign Visit: tikkun.org/PeaceProject
Thank you for helping make this happen. Please post it on your Facebook or other social media and send a personal note to everyone on your email lists urging them to sign and donate too–we have to have this ready by early Tuesday morning, so please get started signing, donating, and sending this around now!
Warm regards and blessings,
Rabbi Michael Lerner
RabbiLerner.tikkun@gmail.com