At present, no issue facing this country is more important than approving President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. The moment for this peaceful, diplomatic breakthrough must not be allowed to pass. Though the Iran Nuclear deal now seems to have enough votes to sustain a veto, we must not relax our efforts to support the deal. People do change their minds, and merely surviving a veto is a very low bar for a deal of such importance.
It is important to continue to rally support for the deal for other reasons. Rarely has a political issue been surrounded by more falsehood, deception, and hyperbole. Among the people who argue that we should reject Obama’s deal and bomb Iran immediately are Dick Cheney, John Bolton, Bill Kristol and Benjamin Netanyahu—the same cast that gave us the debacle of the Iraq war. They were dead wrong then and they are using the same bad arguments now. We must continue to educate people about how misguided and bigoted these hawkish opponents to the deal really are.
Wide opposition to the treaty also reveals how misinformed the American public and many of their elected representatives are. The difference in quality between the arguments of the backers and the opponents of the deal provides a good basic roadmap to sorting out the truth of this issue.Read more: The Nuclear Deal with Iran: Towards a Resolution and Continued Education
Dear Senator Wyden,
We, the undersigned organizations, represent Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and secular residents of the state of Oregon who are struggling for peace in the Middle East through justice for Palestinians who have been denied equal rights and the right to self-determination for far too long.
In a recent letter to constituents, you stated that you are both "pro-Israeli" and "pro-Palestinian." Unfortunately, your record shows that you are neither.
For Israelis who hope for peace, you have nothing to offer but the status quo, which you back unequivocally every year by voting for $3 billion in military aid to the Israeli government, ensuring that it will continue its policies of settlement expansion, colonization, and authoritarian military rule over millions of Palestinians. You back the most right-wing government in Israel's history, and you gave its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, 37 standing ovations when he recently addressed Congress. He thanked you by openly supporting Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.
For Palestinians who hope for justice, you are silent in the face of Israeli massacres that have killed hundreds of children and thousands of civilians in attacks that even an American general has called "absolutely disproportionate," a violation of the Geneva Conventions. You are silent in the face of an apartheid legal system and an apartheid system of roads, housing, and water rights in the West Bank. You are silent about the more than 50 laws that discriminate against Palestinians who make up 20 percent of Israel's population. And you say nothing about the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, even though this right is guaranteed by the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.Senator Wyden, you say you oppose the influence of Big Money in our elections, but you dutifully support every resolution proposed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which has a donor network that rivals Wall Street and the National Rifle Association. AIPAC supports every action of the Israeli government. It pushed for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and it promotes an aggressive military approach toward Iran. It is a racist, militarist lobby that opposes fundamental human rights for Palestinians simply because they are not Jewish. AIPAC does not speak for the Jewish community. Read more: An Open Letter to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden
WASHINGTON (AP) — Oregon’s Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley on Sunday became the 31st senator to announce support for the Iran nuclear deal, as momentum builds behind the agreement the Obama administration and other world powers negotiated with Tehran.
Merkley’s backing puts supporters within reach of the 34 votes required to uphold a presidential veto of a congressional resolution disapproving the agreement, which curbs Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.
Goliath, according to Adam Hochschild, is "brash, gritty, personal and close to the ground...a report from an Israel and a Palestine we seldom see in the mainstream media." Blumenthal takes us on a journey through the badlands and high roads of Israel-Palestine, painting a startling portrait of Israeli society under the siege of increasingly authoritarian politics as the occupation of the Palestinians deepens. The book is already receiving significant attention and has been positively reviewed by Kirkus Reviews: "A rich, roiling examination of 'the State of Israel during a period of deepening political and societal crisis' ... Blumenthal is an enterprising reporter."
In an article for Al-Monitor, Akiva Eldar — a former chief political columnist and editorial writer for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, where he worked for 35 years — writes,
Unlike most Jews — American or Israeli — Blumenthal chose to leave his comfort zone, go into disputed territory and examine the burning questions for himself. In fact, Blumenthal's greatest strength and interest is in events on the ground and the people who live there, far from the 'peace process' and diplomatic salons.
I am honored to speak on behalf of Jewish Voice for Peace, which stands in solidarity with the people of Iran, the people of the U.S., and people of conscience across our precious planet who yearn for our leaders to courageously move us towards peaceful relations with Iran and away from setting us on a path that, once on it, one simple miscalculation, might lead us inexorably toward war with Iran.
If you thought the Iraq war was a tragic disaster, get this:
Iran is a regional power with a strong military. It is three times as populous and geographically much larger than Iraq. So, multiply everything in the Iraq War by three to get a sense of the cost of a war against Iran:
Immediate cost: $3 trillion
Long term cost, including veteran care: at least 10 trillion dollars
US troops killed: over 15,000
US troops seriously wounded: over 100,000
Iranian dead: 3 million
Iranians displaced: 12-15 million!
Let’s be clear: the U.S. has long had Iran virtually encircled as a result of the American occupation of Afghanistan on Iran’s Eastern border, its invasion of Iraq on its Western border, its NATO ally Turkey hovering on Iran’s Northwestern border, some degree of military relationship with Turkmenistan on Iran’s Northeastern border, and multiple U.S. client states sitting right across the Persian Gulf (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain, where the massive US 5th Fleet is stationed). Additionally, some combination of the U.S. and Israel has bombarded Iran with multiple acts of war in recent years, including explosions on Iranian soil, the murder of numerous Iranian nuclear scientists, and sophisticated cyber-attacks.
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Ilan Pappe's Revealing Book: