Jewish Journal

Petition Congress: Give shalom a chance!  Give diplomacy with Iran a chance!

by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

January 29, 2014 | 11:36 am

Give shalom a chance! 

Give diplomacy with Iran a chance!

Dear friends,

That is not just a slogan. We need to act on it, because others are acting against it – trying to torpedo diplomacy. And they might win, unless we act.

If they do win,  they will actually make it more likely that Iran ends up with nuclear weapons, and they will set America and the world on the road to yet another disastrous war. On both counts, the worst of all possible worlds.

What can we do to help walk, instead, the road to shalom with a non-nuclear Iran?

We can sign a nationwide petition rooted in Biblical and Rabbinic values, directed to Senator Harry Reid, majority leader of the US Senate, and to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a strongly pro-Israel, strongly pro-peace, and strongly Jewishly identified progressive from Illinois.

You can click here http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/step-by-step-toward-shalom to sign a petition that MoveOn will then send to many thousands of Americans, to make a difference as Congress considers whether to support or torpedo negotiations with Iran.

Why is the petition directed to Senator Reid and Congresswoman Schakowsky? Because they have unique roles in helping us move step by step on the road to shalom, not war.

Congress is being shoved to torpedo the negotiating process with Iran that the White House and State Department have successfully pursued.

Who is shoving Congress? I am sorry to say, mostly a few large organizations, led by AIPAC, that claim to represent the American Jewish community.

So it is important for Congress to know that AIPAC does NOT represent the multitude of actual flesh-and blood American Jews, who support diplomacy in this case.

It is important for Congress to know that 120 Rabbis and other Jewish clergy have urged us all to move “Step by Step toward Shalom with Iran.”

 And not only Rabbis. We may never have read the Psalm (34:15) that calls on us to “Seek peace and pursue it!”  But we know the wisdom of that teaching from our own life-experience, our innards, our kishkes.

Many of us know that most Jewish tradition teaches that under extreme circumstances, violence in self-defense may be necessary – but only if all peaceful means have been exhausted.

We can already see that with the recent major changes in Iranian society and politics, war against Iran is utterly unnecessary and will not only wreck many human lives but deeply damage our own society, which now urgently needs major investments in meeting civilian needs.

So please let Congress know where we really stand by clicking to http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/step-by-step-toward-shalom

With blessings to you of shalom –--  for the shalom you sow in the world is the shalom you will reap in your own life.

--  Eco-Rebbe Arthur Waskow

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Rabbi Arthur Waskow founded (1983) and directs The Shalom Center.

He was legislative assistant to a US Congressman, 1959-1961; Resident Fellow of the Inst. for Policy...

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