Jews say no to AIPAC and say no to bombing Syria

In three days 100 Jews from around the world signed on to a statement sharply critical of AIPAC and other Jewish bodies lobbying for President Obama’s war resolution against Syria.  Hopefully people will refer to it in their efforts with the media, Congress, teach-ins and rallies.  It reads:

We Jews Oppose Calls for the U.S. to Bomb Syria

 We are appalled that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is sending hundreds of people to lobby Congress to approve a resolution to bomb Syria. The media also reports that Sheldon Adelson and the Republican Jewish Coalition are pushing hard for war. We don’t want it to be known that Jews stood silent as the powerful Israel lobby helped push the U.S.into a war in defiance of international law and American public opinion.

The Israeli government should stop pointing the finger and admit its own abuses of chemicals. It used white phosphorus in its terrible 2008 attack on Gaza. Over the years it has used tear gas recklessly and killed and sickened many, many Palestinians.

The Israeli government’s apparent belief that Jews are better off if Arab or Muslim countries are devastated one after another must be challenged and repudiated.

Petition started 9/9/2013

Stanley Heller, host of The Struggle Video News, Connecticut
Liz Aaronsohn, Ed.D., retired professor, daughter of a rabbi
Medea Benjamin, Code Pink
Lenni Brenner, Hamden, Connecticut, Author, Zionism In The Age Of  The Dictators
Seth Farber, New York
Tamar Pelleg-Sryck, Human Rights Lawyer, Tel Aviv
Tony Greenstein, UK
Dan Fischer, Bridgeport, CT
Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, Advocacy Officer, The Jahalin Association, (Al Khan el Ahmar)
Alisa Klein, Leeds, MA, Public Policy Consultant and anti-war activist
Miriam (Goldberg) Swenson, New Jersey, retired professor
James Cohen, Paris, France, Professor, University of Paris 3 (Sorbonne-    Nouvelle)
Judith B. Solomon, NYC, Women in Black
Jennifer Loewenstein, Wisconsin
Diana Neslon, Greater London in the United Kingdom
Joseph Levine, Professor of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts         Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts
David Finkel, managing editor of AGAINST THE CURRENT (affiliation for identification only)
Tsilli Goldenberg, Jerusalem, Israel
Darlene Wallach, California, Justice for Palestinians
Savvas Michael-Matsas, Greece
Steve Krevisky, Congress of Conn. Community Colleges-4C’s/SEIU
Ivy Sichel, The Hebrew University, Israel
Aram Saroyan,Los Angeles, writer
Jane Harries, Wales, United Kingdom, Coordinator for Fellowship of       Reconciliation in Wales
Dustin Friedman, New York
Alice Rothchild, MD
Dorothy Naor, activist against the Colonization of Palestine, Israel
Dorothy M. Zellner, New York member, Jews Say No!
David Makofsky, retired Anthropologist, Oakland, California
Tamar Yaron, Israel, Encounter-EMEM for Israel-Palestine peace    activities
Warren Davis, Philadelphia, Exec. V.P. (retired), AFGE L. 2006
Stewart Robinson,Jewish Voice for Peace
Karen Platt Albany CA JVP member
Beverly Stuart, Seattle, WA
Alice Kisch, JVP and am also a steering committee member of NorCal      FOSNA (Northern California Friends of Sabeel-North America
Sylvia Finzi (London)
Yom Shamash, Vancouver, BC, Canada, Independent Jewish Voices
Neil Hertz, Ithaca, NY, Professor of Humanities, emeritus
Ethan Young, Brooklyn NY
Ned Rosch, Portland OR
Gilbert Wald, New Jersey, small businessman, Yale graduate 1972
Ken Cornet, Washington, CT USA
Sherna Berger Gluck – retired academic, activist
Judith Kolokoff , Seattle WA., Human rights activist
Michael Letwin, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
Marcia Bernstein, Brooklyn,retired social worker
Lenny Lapon, Springfield, MA, Educator
Murray Polner, USA. editor-writer
Kimberly Dugan, West Hartford, Connecticut
Seth Godfrey, New Haven, Ct., Business Reference Librarian-New Haven Free Public Library and Commissioner on the City of New Haven      Peace Commission
Hedy Epstein, St. Louis
David Letwin, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
Lyn Stein, San Francisco, CA
Libby Frank, Philadelphia, Pa. Member Middle East Comm., Women’s     Int’l. League for Peace & Freedom
Paula Orloff, Nevada City, retired teacher
Yoram Gelman, Tarrytown, NY — and Haifa, 1940
Paola Canarutto, Italy
Laura Myerson, WESPAC
Lillian Rosengarten, only American on the Jewish Boat To gaza in 2010,  psychoanalyst, poet and writer
Rael Nidess, M.D., Marshall, TX USA
Leslie Lomas, Ph.D., Boulder, Colorado
Mike Kurland, Mansfield Center, Ct.
Miriam Kurland, Mansfield Center, Ct.
Aram Ayalon, professor of Teacher Education, CCSU, New Britain
Elizabeth Block, Toronto, Canada
Kit Wainer, teacher, NYC
Diane Isser, Philadelphia
Dr Brian Robinson, Retired NHS psychiatrist
Milton Keynes, England UK
Moshé Machover, Professor(emeritus), Israeli dissident
Abe Hayeem, Chair, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine          (APJP), UK
Rosamine Hayeem, London, UK
Charles Post, NY, PSC-CUNY/AFT 2234
Sherry Wolf, International Socialist Organization
Robert Naiman, Urbana, Illinois, Policy Director, Just Foreign Policy
Carol Walter, Farmington CT
Richard Kuper, Highgate, London, UK
Martin Oppenheimer, retired professor, Franklin Twp. N.J.
Henry Norr, Berkeley, CA USA
Beryl Maizels, Wembley, Middx., retired language teacher, JfJfP
Batya Hecker, Austin, Interfaith Community for Palestinian Rights
Tikva Honig-Parnass, Israel, Jews for the Palestinian Right of Return
Hillel Tictin, Professor-Emeritus, University of Glasgow, Scotland
Roland Rance, Britain
Inbar Tamari, Britain
Malkah Feldman, MA, USA
Myrna Fichtenbaum, Lawrenceville,NJ
Annie Zirin, Evanston, Il
Professor Dennis Kortheuer, Long Beach, Ca.
Emily Chisefski Alma, Coordinator, Chico Palestine Action Group, Chico, CA
Jean Pauline, Bay Area Women in Black, Oakland, California
Tami Etziony, Bay Area Women in Black, Oakland CA
Judith Bernstein, Munich, Germany
Carl Rosenberg, Vancouver, BC, editor of Outlook: Canada’s Progressive          Jewish Magazine
Sid Shniad, Surrey British Columbia, Member, national steering      committee, Independent Jewish Voices Canada
Kamran Ghasri, Iranian-American Jewish from Los Angeles, active with   Israel Divestment campaign www.israeldivestmentcampaign.org,     CA Green Party
Judith Weisman Toronto Ontario, Independent Jewish Voices
Dorothy Field, Victoria BC Canada
Sam Bernstein, Seattle, WA
Sarah Wolf
Paula Friedland Panzarella, New Haven, CT, poet and peace activist
Sherry Gorelick, Women in Black Union Square, NYC, Professor Emerita,         Rutgers University
Phyllis Bloom, L. Ac., Woodstock, NY
Marian Feinberg, Environmental and Social Justice Activist
Sid Frankel, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work, Winnipeg,       Manitoba, Canada
Marcia Almey, Ottawa, ON

The petition will be updated at:

http://www.thestruggle.org/jewish%20petition.htm

New names welcomed:  mail@thestruggle.org

  1. AIPAC is to America what the Ba’ath party is to Syria — minority control of the political process by fear and intimidation. The day is coming when it will be a serious liability for any American politician to be associated w/ AIPAC. When that day comes, these folks will be dancing.

    • Denis,

      A large chunk of Ba’athists are sunni, so your analogy here doesn’t work. Perhaps a more apt comparison would be to say that aipac to jews is what christian zionists are to christians: a loud-mouth and loopy minority pretending to represent the majority.

  2. This is helpful—- but what would be even better is grassroots petitions or statements by Jews from US states which have the highest % of Jews—-new jersey-new york-massachusetts-california-florida-washington dc
    Jewish (voter) grassroots signers on something like this would have an impact on the polticians from those states.

    • The top 10 states in 2012 as a percentage of state population are:

      New York 9.0%
      New Jersey 5.7%
      Washington D.C. 4.5%
      Massachusetts 4.2%
      Maryland 4.1%
      Florida 3.4%
      California 3.2%
      Connecticut 3.2%
      Nevada 2.8%
      Illinois 2.3%

  3. There are about 18 million jews on this globe and hundred signing a declaration does not give me sleepless nights.
    It is a tiny start and we start rejoycing when we have 2-3 million signatures, with a long line before the voting office.

      • yonah

        Independent sources quote figures as much as 18 million, however it makes no difference, because both of us are relying on information that we cannot verify.
        Besides, the equation with 14 million is just as poor, so who cares about the possible correct number. I really doubt if anyone ever counted all jews on this planet.

  4. I’m sure American is right – but as to general, rather than Jewish, opinion in the United States, I’ve just looked at the Real Clear Politics site once again and there seems to be no slackening in the public opposition to intervention in Syria. Indeed what RCP lists as the latest, from Economist/YouGov, gives a negative majority of 38%. Perhaps that was an outlier or asked loaded questions. The average is given as 28%.

    • @ Hughes

      I’m not excluding Jews from the general opinions. I was basing that suggeston on what Ive heard poltcans say many times about how they hear from huge numbers of Jews or Jewsh groups on issues dealng wth Israel (well informed lobby members no doubt) but never hears from people ‘opposng’ anyhing to do wth Israel. I would have to find it but I think Barney Frank was among the latest who said somethng like if people wanted him to reverse his Israel policy they should make it known—that he gets 5,000 phone calls from his constituents urgng him to do this or that for Israel and none or almost none from those opposng it.

      • Sorry, I just meant that you were no doubt right about the special importance of Jewish opinion in this context but wanted to draw attention to polls that can’t distinguish between Jewish and other opinion on this matter. They’re quite impressive, I think.

      • American: Barney Frank was among the latest

        And Harry Truman was probably the first. When asked why he supported the Jewish invasion of Palestine, he said he had hundreds of thousands of Jews voting for him and not a single Palestinian.

        This person and this attitude are the root and source of the entire “I/P problem.” Without Truman, and without his self-serving attitude, there would be no I/P problem today b/c there would be no I. The world would be a far safer place for us and our children.

        • @ Denis
          Yes, Truman said that. He also burned a giant stack of letters (unopened) from the Jewish American community, which he recognized as orchestrated by the Zionists, who’s leaders were constantly knocking on his Oval Office door. They were so rude he banned them, but he allowed his old business buddy, who was Jewish, to cox him into opening his door again–even to the Zionist who pounded on his desk. The clincher for his decision to unilaterally recognize Israel came when he got a giant bundle of Zionist cash during his Whistle Stop campaign–at the time nobody thought he had a chance to win the race, and no money to finance it. Dewey was a shoe-in, and the Zionists had told him the NY OP-ED press was also in their pocket; he needed NY Jewish votes; they also told him if he didn’t sign off on Israel, all the Zionist cash would be stuffed in Dewey’s campaign chest.

    • LOL, Taxi.

      I’ll take the drip-drip; drips can often turn into deluges. I try to never look a gift horse in the mouth, I’ll take it! I am grateful to this fine group of human beings. We all gotta start somewhere. ‘If you build it, they will come……’

    • Be a good sport, Taxi, even God was willing to spare Sodom for the sake of 20 righteous people. Here you have 100, of which one of them lives in TA. Wouldn’t you also spare the whole place for her sake and not wish to have her city melt or turned to ashes?

  5. By the way, one can oppose bombing Syria and still not sign onto the rhetoric of this letter. Many Jews oppose bombing Syria, but would not sign onto much of the rhetoric.

    • That’s quite true, Yonah, and it would seem from the list of affiliations that these are Jewish people many of whom have a long (I would think honourable) history of pro-Palestinian or even anti-Zionist opinion. But they’re speaking with a certain increase in confidence, which perhaps tells us something. They’re expecting American public opinion, for the first time, to listen.

    • Which rhetoric…this?:

      “The Israeli government’s apparent belief that Jews are better off if Arab or Muslim countries are devastated one after another must be challenged and repudiated.’

      This is very true where it concerns Palestines at least. Do the Jews have a saying like the one that goes…’dont piss on my back and tell me it’s raining”.
      I’n pretty sure they do.

      • @ American

        rt.com/op-edge/israel-fighting-war-syria-693/‎
        May 23, 2013 – The entry of Israeli troops and the Mossad security service into Syria with … “ intense intelligence activity” is being maintained in Syria by Israeli forces … In reality, Syria is merely one front in a broader hegemonic struggle that …. Attempts to create a sectarian war are part of the logic of divide and conquer.

    • “Many Jews oppose bombing Syria, but would not sign onto much of the rhetoric.”

      The rhetoric is accurate though. Israel has used white phosphorus, for instance, and the NYT had an article recently where it was clear that some Israeli analysts thought a continued war among the Syrian factions was the best outcome.

  6. Mr. Heller– I just perused your blog and really am impressed by the activism and work that you do, and want to thank you most especially for getting this ‘rolling’.

    Wish I was in CT.

  7. There won’t be any shift with these kinds of petitions until someone spells the Israel mess out to Phil’s Mom and her generation.

    100 signatures is very poor, in fairness
    That’s one signature for every 3 AIPAC lobbyists in Congress.

    • And Sheldon Adelson alone could write a million dollar check against each of the 100 signatures like each might buy a bag of french fires at McDonald’s.

  8. ha-ha israel, no U.S. war on Syria for you and now no war on Iran either … they elected a moderate and, guess what?, they’re nuclear production is way down – here’s why:

    article

  9. RE: “The Israeli government should stop pointing the finger and admit its own abuses of chemicals. It used white phosphorus in its terrible 2008 attack on Gaza. Over the years it has used tear gas recklessly and killed and sickened many, many Palestinians.” ~ petition criticizing AIPAC and other Jewish bodies lobbying for President Obama’s war resolution against Syria

    NOT TO MENTION THAT DURING THE ‘SECOND LEBANON WAR’, ISRAEL BLANKETED SOUTHERN LEBANON WITH CLUSTER MUNITIONS DURING THE LAST THREE DAYS OF THE WAR (AND AFTER A CEASEFIRE HAD ALREADY BEEN AGREED TO):
    “Israel May Have Violated Arms Pact, U.S. Says”, By David S. Cloud and Greg Myre, New York Times, 1/28/13

    [EXCERPT] WASHINGTON, Jan 27 — The Bush administration will inform Congress on Monday that Israel may have violated agreements with the United States when it fired American-supplied cluster munitions into southern Lebanon during its fight with Hezbollah last summer, the State Department said Saturday.
    The finding, though preliminary, has prompted a contentious debate within the administration over whether the United States should penalize Israel for its use of cluster munitions against towns and villages where Hezbollah had placed its rocket launchers.
    Cluster munitions are anti-personnel weapons that scatter tiny but deadly bomblets over a wide area. The grenadelike munitions, tens of thousands of which have been found in southern Lebanon, have caused 30 deaths and 180 injuries among civilians since the end of the war, according to the United Nations Mine Action Service.
    Midlevel officials at the Pentagon and the State Department have argued that Israel violated American prohibitions on using cluster munitions against populated areas, according to officials who described the deliberations. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to nytimes.com

    P.S. ALSO SEE: “Cluster Munitions at a Glance”, armscontrol.org, November 2012

    [EXCERPT] . . . Although cluster munitions first saw use in World War II and more than 50 countries have since acquired stockpiles of such arms, efforts to regulate or ban the use of cluster munitions gained greater attention and momentum after the summer 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, a Shiite organization that the United States identifies as a terrorist group. Israel’s extensive cluster munitions use in the last 72 hours of that conflict resulted in an estimated one million unexploded bomblets scattered across southern Lebanon, arousing some strong condemnation. Jan Egeland, then-UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, blasted Israel’s use of cluster munitions as “shocking and completely immoral.” . . .

    SOURCE – link to armscontrol.org

    • P.P.S. ALSO SEE: “18-year-old Lebanese killed by Israeli cluster bomb”, By Mohammed Zaatari, The Daily
      Star
      , 8/10/13

      SIDON, Lebanon: An 18-year-old was killed Saturday when an Israeli cluster bomb exploded in Hasbaya, south Lebanon. Hisham Abdel-Al, a young shepherd, was working on a farm in the Hallat village when he stepped on a cluster bomb, dying instantly.
      Israel dropped some 4 million cluster bombs in Lebanon during the July-August 2006 war, most during the last 48 hours of the conflict, according to the United Nations. Hundreds have been wounded in cluster-bomb related incidents since 2000 and 2006.
      The Army’s Lebanon Mine Action Center along with the U.N. and other international organizations have been working since 2006 to remove the deadly ordinance from the south.

      SOURCE – link to dailystar.com.lb

  10. AIPAC in spite of its name is probably more closely associated with the global neocon 1% than with Israel. It’s easy to ignore even fundamental long-term divergences of purpose while the more immediate ones overlap; the US and Iraq in the war against Iran among myriad others. There are many moments when even enemies need to cooperate, pragmatism. Such overlapping may continue so long the purposes come to be accepted as one. Rhodes was one such, Rome’s closest and most privileged ally in the Mediterranean one minute and dust the next. While I sincerely hope this Syrian business ends without too much further distress, it has been useful in disclosing significant divisions hitherto concealed or largely ignored; the division between many leaders and their populations, between many world leaders and US cultural policies, and now that between AIPAC and Israel. We have also been able to observe live and compare the very different styles of Obama/Kerry and Putin. The French have a saying On fait campagne en poésie, mais on gouverne en prose. * I have a feeling that recent events have raised the edge of a carpet exposing a lot nasty things that have lain out of sight but now demand cleaning up. This is a good thing for our common humanity, and so must be good for the long suffering Palestinians.

    *One campaigns in poetry, but one governs in prose.

    • NickJOCW says:
      September 14, 2013 at 11:07 am

      AIPAC in spite of its name is probably more closely associated with the global neocon 1% than with Israel.
      >>>>>>

      Dont think so. There is nothing globally significant about Israel ‘by itself ‘ except it’s relationship with it’s US protector—–the only value in to the global 1% would be in using the US ‘thru’ Israel to acheive some neo goal.
      It was interesting to read the Israeli plan on appealing to China as an ally and economic partner for Israel—one of the things it was offering to China as an inducement was Israel’s ‘special influence’ within the US government as a ‘benefit’ to China…..iow, could influence US policies toward China.