Talking To and About Iran

Update: Over 1000 Brit Tzedek
Activists Urge Senator Obama to Make Peace a Priority

More than 1000 people in just 3 days weighed in with Senator Barack Obama in advance of his trip to Israel and the West Bank, urging him to demonstrate his intent to put Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking at the top of his foreign policy agenda.

View the letter sent to the Obama campaign.
View the press release

The mission of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom is to promote a negotiated two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  As part of this work, we have at times been compelled to address regional conflicts that have a significant impact on the Israeli-Palestinian situation, e.g. the Lebanon War of 2006 and recent Israeli-Syrian peace overtures.

The implications for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict of the rising threat of Iran's nuclear program and the potential of a U.S. or Israeli attack against Iran have compelled us to broaden our scope yet again.  At the same time, the Bush Administration has appeared to retreat from its policy of isolating Iran in recent days

As such, Brit Tzedek has issued the following policy statement on Iran including the urgent need for robust, diplomatic engagement.  Below the statement, you will find links for further information.

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom Policy on Iran
July 2008

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom recognizes the serious strategic threat posed to American and Israeli security interests by Iran's efforts to expand its nuclear program and by its financial and political support for Hezbollah and Hamas.   As American Jews, we are particularly disturbed by President Ahmadinejad's blatant anti-Semitism and his denial of the Holocaust.
We believe that the correct path to a successful outcome lies through robust U.S. diplomatic engagement with Iran and not through diplomatic isolation or veiled threats of military action. We call for direct, sustained, and unconditional talks between the government of the United States and the government of Iran in order to resolve all outstanding issues. 

Together with the international community, the U.S. should pursue a comprehensive "sticks and carrots" approach to Iran -- utilizing diplomatic and economic incentives and sanctions together -- in order to persuade Iran to stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons capacity and agree to meaningful international oversight and inspection of its nuclear program.

Brit Tzedek opposes a pre-emptive strike against Iran, whether by the United States or Israel, as well as actions and threats that bring us closer to such a confrontation.  A military attack on Iran would put Israeli citizens and Americans stationed in Iraq under severe threat of retaliation, result in heavy human casualties, strengthen Iranian hardliners, seriously derail any progress on Arab-Israeli peace talks, and plunge the Middle East into further chaos.  In addition, most experts agree that a military strike is unlikely to wipe out Iran's nuclear facilities and could in fact compel Iran to increase the pace of its nuclear development.
Brit Tzedek restates its consistent call for active U.S. engagement in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian and broader Arab-Israeli conflicts. We strongly believe that progress on these fronts has great potential to undermine Iran's influence and power in the region, while a military confrontation with Iran would deal a devastating blow to the likelihood of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement in the near future.

Additional resources on Iran:

Recommended articles and blogs

Iran Open to U.S. Diplomatic Talks, Official Says, by Sebnew Arsu. The New York Times. July 19, 2008.

Iran Won’t Relent on Nuclear Program, by Alan Cowell. The New York Times. July 24, 2008.

U.S. Presence in Iran Talks should be First Step toward Real Diplomatic Engagement, Americans for Peace Now. July 22, 2008.

America Sounds a Dovish Note as Iran and Israel Trade Threats, by Nathan Guttman.  The Jewish Daily Forward. July 10, 2008.

The alternative to an Israeli attack on Iran, by Shlomo Ben-Ami and Trita Parsi. The Christian Science Monitor.  July 2, 2008.

Threatening Iran, by Editorial.  The New York Times. June 10, 2008. 

A Sensible Path on Iran, by Zbigniew Brzezinski and William Odom. The Washington Post. May 27, 2008.

MoJo Convo: Iran Panic? Talk About It With the Experts. Mother Jones. June 28, 2008.

Resources from allied organizations and campaigns:

Campaign for a New American Policy on Iran: Resource Page (very useful!)

Americans for Peace Now: Wanted: A Smarter Policy on Iran

J Street policy page on Iran

Israel Policy Forum: IPFFriday: Diplomacy as a Last Resort?

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
11 E. Adams Street, Suite 707
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 341-1205
Fax: (312) 341-1206

Donate:Help build on Brit Tzedek's success.

Share this message:Tell others about Brit Tzedek v'Shalom.

Receive regular updates:Click if you received this message from a friend, and would like to get regular updates from Brit Tzedek v'Shalom.

More information:Click to see our website.

This message was sent to . Visit your subscription management page to modify your email communication preferences or update your personal profile. Click here (or reply via email with "remove" in the subject line) to remove yourself from ALL email lists maintained by Brit Tzedek v'Shalom.