Rabbis of JVP Call on Obama: Don’t Let Bibi Pressure US into War on Iran!

The Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council has just released the following statement, below. If you are a rabbi or cantor, please consider signing on.

We, the undersigned American Jewish clergy, are deeply concerned about reports that Prime Minister Netanyahu will demand of President Obama, at their meeting at the White House today, that either the United States attack Iran, or else, Israel will.

We do not welcome the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. We call on all the military forces in the region – including Israel’s – to divest themselves of their nuclear armaments and renounce any belligerent nuclear aspirations.

The State of Israel refuses to acknowledge its own nuclear arsenal or to submit to international monitoring. We believe it is hypocritical of Israel to demand of Iran what it refuses to agree to itself.

Most of the people of the State of Israel oppose Prime Minister Netanyahu’s military threats against Iran. They fear the consequences of an attack on Iran. As Jewish leaders, we too believe that the path of wisdom towards achieving peace and stability in the region is through dialog and engagement and not through acts of war. We call on the United States government to safeguard the interests of the people of Israel and Iran.

Nine years after the United States launched a war against Iraq that is widely recognized as having been badly executed and unjustified, Israel would have the U.S. implicate itself in a new war in the region, this time against Iran. We believe that Jews, and other Americans, will not support more reckless adventurism in the Middle East.

In this election year, we call on President Obama not to give in to warmongering. As Jewish leaders we cannot endorse an Israeli act of war against the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Bible teaches us: “bakesh shalom v’rodfehu –  seek peace and pursue it.” We urge President Obama to stand firm and to use his power as Israel’s chief supporter to draw Israel to the path of peace and justice.

In the meantime, I strongly recommend MJ Rosenberg’s analysis of Obama’s much-anticipated speech at the AIPAC conference yesterday:

The President, in the middle of an election year, offered AIPAC no more than the bare minimum. In order to get away with that, he larded up the speech with embarrassing professions of love for Israel. I say embarrassing because no other country in the world demands such endless coddling. If a president spoke about Canada or the United Kingdom (two far closer allies) the way Obama does about Israel, he might be considered seriously off his game. Not to worry, he won’t.

But the lard doesn’t mean much except to smooth his way to the substance of the speech which Obama knew that neither AIPAC nor Prime Minister Netanyahu would like.

5 thoughts on “Rabbis of JVP Call on Obama: Don’t Let Bibi Pressure US into War on Iran!

  1. Cotton Fite

    Thank you, brothers and sisters JVP Rabbinical Council. You come through again and speak for many of us. I most appreciated Obama’s warning about the “loose talk of war” engaged in particularly by Republican candidates, each trying to outdo the other in being rock-solid for Israel. We are living in a very dangerous time. Has it not ever been so? Maybe just not so apparent.

  2. umrayya

    And yet, Cotton Fite, in his talk to AIPAC Obama took a rather different line, didn’t he?

    A politician is a politician is a politician.

  3. Shirin

    I continue to be troubled by the implicit and explicit assumptions that Iran is in the process of developing nuclear weapons, particularly in view of the recent report from the collective United States intelligence agencies that it is not. We seem to have yet another case of “if you repeat a lie often enough over a long enough period of time it becomes the received truth despite all the evidence to the contrary”.

    What will it take to get the American people to wake up and start using common sense?

  4. Laurie

    Why is it that “Informed Comment” by Juan Cole can know that the more powerful than Ahmadinejad Ali Khamenei said on three separate occasions – at least – that they reject nuclear weapons and prohibit the use and production of nuclear WEAPONS – because of their ideology….but our leaders in Congress, the military and possibly President Obama don’t know it. Or they don’t want to believe it – any excuse for Israel to pre-empt a strike and drag us along with them. When I was young, I was told that if you call a person a name or demean them often enough, they won’t disappoint you. When can we start turning this around. Stop the killing, not only of the body but of the spirit.

  5. Steve Grover

    Bibi Netanyahu is more popular in the U.S. than he is in Israel. He is perceived in the U.S. as a leader who will not compromise for the security of Israel and the Jewish people. Our current president is not perceived this way. Netanyahu’s opponents are not perceived this way either in Israel.

    Israelis live in a fairly peaceful environment and are relatively prosperous as a result of Netanyahu’s administration. Iran, Hezbollah, Al Queda and Hamas make threats against Israel and who most Israelis believe would act on those threats. Netanyahu is perceived most able to deal with these threats.

    He is also seen as strong supporter of the United States. Americans also agree that the threats to Israel as well as to the Jewish people are existential so the U.S. often has to reassure Israel that the U.S. will in fact help and defend Israel.

    Canada and the U.K. are not under existential threats like Israel is, therefore they don’t need to be reassured.


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