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3 Mar, 2015

2,600+ people sign anti-Netanyahu, anti-war ad in New York Times

Source: Rabbi Michael Lerner, www.tikkun.org

This is the ad, signed by over 2,600 people,  that appears today in the New York Times, and tomorrow on Capitol Hill in “The Hiill” newspaper (read in every Congressional office and in the White House) can be viewed here:  https://org.salsalabs.com/o/525/images/Final netanyahu ad.pdf

If you like it, please sign it and donate to make it possible for us to spread its message: www.tikkun.org/peaceproject

The 2,600 plus who signed include figures like the novelist and Princeton U. Professor Joyce Carol Oates, novelist and Ms. co-founder Letty Cottin Pogrebin, professor of Jewish Studies at Darthmouth College (and daughter of Abraham Joshua Heschel, the Jewish theologian who marched with MLKjr. at Selma) Susannah Heschel, Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul & Mary, the legendary Jewish folk singer Theodore Bikel who played the role of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof over 2,000 times, Aryeh Cohen professor of Rabbinic Literature at American Jewish University, Rabbi William Cutter professor at Hebrew Union College,  NYU professor Mark Crispin Miller, Columbia U professor Sassia Sassken, Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton Abraham Udovitch,   Sharon Kleinbaum, the firebrand rabbi of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah—the country’s largest and best-known gay synagogue (and many other rabbis).

The ad was mentioned in USA Today as well as in the NPR–All Things Considered report on Netanyahu’s speech to AIPAC today. We were the only peace organization being quoted in the mass media about our opposition to a war with Iran, our support for Obama’s attempt to reach a compromise with Iran that would allow them to develop atomic energy for peaceful purposes while assuring the rest of the world (through inspections) that it was not developing weapons-grade materials, in exchange for the US reducing the sanctions rather than escalating them as Netanyahu seeks. And we are the only group opposing Netanyahu that is publicly promoting an alternative–what we call a Strategy of Generosity–and actually have a worked out version of a Global Marshall Plan that deals with many of the pifalls of past attempts at international cooperation (please read it at www.tikkun.org/gmp and download the 32 page brochure).

Why is this ad different from all the other media talk about the Netanyahu visit?

In all the other media chatter about Netanyahu the focus is on the supposed conflict between Obama and Netanyahu. That misses the actual significance of this visit. Prime Minister Netanyahu– together with major support in both parties engendered by AIPAC and the Christian Zionists–is seeking to push the U.S. on a path that will eventually lead to military strikes and a possible war between the U.S. and Iran. Historians will look back at this moment to see whether the American people will allow this to happen or not. The issue is not whether Obama likes Netanyahu, but whether the American people can be once again (as they were in the lead up to the Iraq war) misled into believing that there is a nuclear threat that must be stopped by coercion and eventually by military action. That is the question highlighted by the Tikkun ad, and why it is newsworthy.

The ad was sponsored by Tikkun Magazine, the voice of liberal and progressive Jews and our non-Jewish allies–along with our interfaith and secular-humanist-welcoming Network of Spiritual Progresives. Tikkun was created as the progressive alternative to the neo-cons in the Jewish world, and the intellectual voice of all those Jews who believe that the best way to support Israel’s security is to also support the creation of a Palestinian state living in peace with Israel.

The ad was written by Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun, in conjunction with its inner editorial board (also listed in the ad).

If you’d like this message spread, you can sign the ad (or if you prefer, you can write “anonymous” and then donate to make it possible for us to spread the message in American and Israeli media.  Read, sign and donate at www.tikkun.org/peaceproject