Make the world a better place: Sign these two petitions.

Petition #1: The US should pursue diplomacy with Iran, not military action.

To my great relief, some in the US Congress have figured out that war against Iran would be a really, really bad idea (here are two good pieces on that: Experts Say Iran Attack Is Irrational, Yet Hawks Are Winning the Debate by Peter Beinart in The Daily Beast and Military action isn’t the only solution to Iran by Thomas Pickering and William Luers in The Washington Post).

Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Walter Jones (R-NC) are circulating what’s called a sign-on letter, asking Representatives to urge the Administration to pursue diplomacy in order to resolve our differences with Iran.

Now that the international community has enacted the strongest sanctions against Iran to date, we must redouble our diplomatic efforts to achieve the transparency measures that will ensure Iran’s nuclear program remains a civilian one.

Without a corresponding diplomatic undertaking, pressure alone could lead to unintended and potentially devastating consequences, including war. Top U.S. national security officials have said that a military strike against Iran could lead to a regional war in the Middle East and attacks against U.S. interests.

While we acknowledge that progress will be difficult, we believe that keeping diplomatic channels open is the best way to avoid a new war and ensure that Iran does not gain a nuclear weapon. Please join us in sending this message to President Obama.

If you would like your Representative to sign on to these sentiments (even if you think s/he already has, even if you think s/he never would in a million years) please sign the J Street petition to that effect: Tell your Representative: Sign the Ellison-Jones Letter.

Then, if you can, please call him/her as well – you’ll find the phone number here: Contacting the Congress. If you’re Jewish, make sure you mention that when you call – Washington tends to think “the Jews” support bombing Tehran back to the Stone Age. (I actually forgot to mention it when I called, so I called back…! I told the young man answering the phone that not only am I a constituent, I’m also an American Jew with dual Israeli citizenship, and I really support diplomacy over war — and he thanked me!).

Petition #2: The Jewish National Fund should stop evicting Palestinians from their East Jerusalem homes.

Rabbis for Human Rights have organized a petition to protest the ongoing eviction of Palestinian families from East Jerusalem by the Jewish National Fund.

The JNF is an organization well-known for planting trees for the Jewish people in the Jewish State, but it turns out that they’re also heavily involved in straight-up settlement activities, and oddly enough, Rabbis for Human Rights thinks that evicting people from their homes is not a good thing for Jews to be engaging in.

The Jewish National Fund in Israel (KKL-JNF) is best known for planting trees in Israel. We are proud of much of KKL-JNF’s work in growing and developing the modern State of Israel.

Unfortunately, over the last two decades KKL-JNF has also been amassing property seized from Palestinians in East Jerusalem, evicting families, and turning the property over to a settler organization with the express goal of Judaizing Palestinian neighborhoods. These evictions place facts on the ground that are roadblocks to peace.

Join us in urging the Jewish National Fund to issue a public statement that they will no longer engage in evictions. Our money and the money of other unsuspecting American donors should not be used to support actions that violate human rights and threaten the security and moral fabric of the State of Israel.

For additional information,click here; to sign that petition, just click here: Tell the JNF not to Evict Palestinians from East Jerusalem.

And please spread the word about each of these actions – they’re simple enough to take, and each time we make our voices heard, we move the universe a bit further along on the arc toward justice.



  1. I signed and shared the Iran petition. Do I get to tell the JNF what to do?

    • Yay! Thank you!

      And I think so, yes – the Jewish National Fund is one of those weird, quasi-governmental organizations that works hand-in-glove with the Israeli government, and Americans of all backgrounds have a very real stake in calling on one of our closest allies (and recipient of so many of our tax dollars) to behave in a fashion that comports with democratic values and basic human rights.

      Also, not for nothing, but America has a very real, palpable security interest in seeing this conflict resolved – it currently serves as an anti-American recruiting weapon for extremists across the globe, and resolving the conflict would take that weapon off the table. And there’s no way to resolve it as long as the Israeli government and its quasi-governmental agents are throwing Palestinians out of their Jerusalem homes.

      • America has a very real, palpable security interest in seeing this conflict resolved

        That’s very true. In fact I often wonder why we aren’t doing more to resolve it.

  2. taylor16

     /  February 23, 2012

    Done and done.

    Although I’m not sure that my Tea Party-loving Congressman is going to listen to me, since all he seems to care about are gay people, abortion, and getting the state to teach creationism. Sigh.

  3. Darth Thulhu

     /  February 24, 2012

    Ellison’s site couldn’t find my Reps, but I managed a workaround and hit up my rabid Republican Senators. Done.

    My congressional seat (Giffords) is vacant, so I hit up a phone call for Jeff Flake in Mesa, where I grew up. Done.

    The J-Street site’s proposed letter presumed I was Jewish and put a lot of words in my mouth as to how I felt about the evictions as A Jew … so I pretty much had to write an entire letter from scratch. Done.

    What I’m saying is: I’m a big baby who doesn’t like so many #FirstWorldProblems when I try to do the right thing, but I will persevere like a cranky, stubborn mule and finish doing the thing once I’ve gotten started.