Action Alerts

Prepare yourself for a fright!

Forget the scary costumes and gory Hollywood movies. If you're looking for a true fright this Halloween, just take a look at the video of a panel discussion that took place at New York's Yeshiva University last week in which Sheldon Adelson, a major donor for numerous organizations and political candidates who promote strife, called for the US to nuke Iran—and the audience applauded!

For years, Adelson and his ideological kin have been using examples of Iranian rhetoric—often exaggerated and sometimes even fabricated—as an excuse for opposing any US-Iran rapprochement. Yet, in a disturbing attempt to evade responsibility, Adelson's spokesman insisted that his boss's comments shouldn't be viewed in the same light as those coming from Iran because he was obviously “using hyperbole to make a point that … actions speak louder than words.”

Yes, Mr. Adelson, actions do speak louder than words. Just as the US and Iran embark on the most promising talks in years, Adelson's cheering section on the Hill is brewing up some major sabotage, with the Senate threatening to pass further sanctions, and the House considering an authorization for the use of military force.

Isn't it scary that US and Iranian negotiators could be on their way to an agreement and Congress could just flip a switch and potentially blow the whole deal? We think so. That's why we've been working to give Obama the political space to pursue diplomacy.

Shareable image promoting Obama-Rouhani meet-up

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Tell the WaPo: Stop Getting Ahead of the Facts on Iran!

The Washington Post is at it again.

A September 15 article in the Post contained the following gem (emphasis mine): [1]

Israel’s security establishment fears that a failure to punish Syria for its use of chemical weapons could encourage Tehran, Syria’s ally, to continue to enrich uranium for a bomb.

This sentence implies that Iran is currently enriching uranium for a nuclear bomb. But there is no evidence at all that this is the case. [2] In fact, both US and Israeli intelligence agree that Iran is not trying to build a nuclear weapon. [3] So the Post should correct this sentence.

We've been through all of this before with the Post's former Ombudsman, Patrick Pexton, who acknowledged that a header and subheader the Post printed back in 2011 was misleading because it implied that Iran was trying to build a nuclear weapon. [4] Asked to weigh in on the current controversy, Pexton responded on Twitter that [5]

That sentence is easy to miss but I think it should be corrected. No govt has yet said Iran is enriching for a bomb.

Unfortunately, the Post eliminated the Ombudsman position earlier this year when Pexton's contract ran out. [6] He was "replaced" by Douglas Feaver, who holds the title "Reader Representative." But Feaver has yet to respond to numerous calls over the last month to correct misleading Post passages on Iran's nuclear program. [7]

Let's flood Feaver's inbox so he can't ignore the truth any longer. It only took 1500 emails to get Pexton to issue his original correction. [8] With your help, we may be able to stop the Post from getting ahead of the facts on Iran yet again.

Thank you for all you do to help bring about a more just foreign policy,

Megan Iorio
Just Foreign Policy

Call Congress and Say, "Don't Bomb Syria!"

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Easy, right?

Tell Congress: Vote NO on the Syria War

It's a historic victory for peace, democracy and the rule of law that President Obama has agreed to seek Congressional authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) in Syria. As a Just Foreign Policy supporter, you can take some credit for this: we helped get the ball rolling when we put out an alert last Monday morning calling for President Obama to seek authorization and for Congress to demand that he seek authorization, at a time when many were saying that trying to get Congress involved was futile.

But despite the President's promise that he only intends to conduct "limited strikes" in Syria, the AUMF he sent to Congress Saturday is a blank check for war.

Here's what you can do to pressure Congress to vote NO on the Syria AUMF:

  1. Call your representatives NOW. Many in Congress are undecided as to how to vote on the Syria AUMF. Taking two minutes out of your day could help prevent another US war. All the information you need to call your reps can be found here:

    You can get an idea about where your reps currently stand using this Washington Post graphic. Just scroll over the dots to find your rep.

  2. Sign and share our petition. You can sign at MoveOn using the following link or via the action box below.

A Story Your Reps Should Hear: House Evictions in Sheikh Jarrah

As I mentioned in our last alert, I'm in Israel-Palestine right now on an Interfaith Peace Builders delegation, meeting with Israelis and Palestinians to better understand the situation on the ground.

Just days before our delegation departed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to build over 800 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. [1] But settlement construction isn't the only way Israelis are extending their control of areas the Palestinians intend to comprise any negotiated state.

Families in Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian village in East Jerusalem, are being evicted from their homes and replaced by Jewish settlers. Earlier this week, our delegation met with the al Kurd family, whose 94 year-old matriarch was displaced from her Haifa home in the 1948 war and has resided in Sheikh Jarrah for nearly 60 years. The family lost half of its home to an Israeli settler family in 2008—and is currently under threat of being evicted from the rest.

When we asked Maysa al Kurd, the daughter of the matriarch whose family lives in the section of the home remaining in its possession, what she hoped we, as Americans, would do to help her family and other Palestinians facing eviction, she said she wanted us to tell their story to President Obama and Congress.

We just happen to have an easy way to do just that. There is a powerful, twenty-five minute documentary online detailing the al Kurd family's struggle to reclaim its home and prevent a complete eviction. Watch the documentary and tell your representatives to do so as well.

Here's the documentary:

And here's the action link:

Tell Obama to Oppose Israeli Plan to Evict 40K Bedouin, Protect Right to Protest

Next week, I'm traveling to Israel/Palestine with a delegation of US peace activists. One thing that we will be doing while there is meeting with Israelis and Palestinians resisting the Israeli government's seizure of Palestinian lands. Such land grabs have become a regular facet of life in the West Bank, but it's not only Palestinians in the West Bank who are subject to them.

The Israeli government has plans to remove upwards of 40,000 Bedouin in the Negev desert in southern Israel from their homes and their lands. As in the West Bank, attempts to protest these seizures have been met by force from the Israeli military and police.

The US has yet to publicly oppose either the Prawer Plan or Israeli suppression of peaceful protest. Join me in calling on President Obama and other US officials to publicly oppose the Prawer Plan and to press the Israeli government to respect the right to peaceful protest in Israel and the occupied territories.

You can also help support my trip to Israel/Palestine by making a tax-deductible donation:

If you've seen last year's Oscar-nominated documentary 5 Broken Cameras, you know something about the Palestinian struggle to resist Israel's seizure of Arab land and the Israeli military's response to such resistance. [1] The demonstrations in Bil'in, where 5 Broken Cameras was filmed, as well as Ni'lin, Nabi Saleh and other villages, have become regular features of Palestinian life. [2] Every Friday, Palestinian villagers, often accompanied by Israeli and international activists, march against the confiscation of their land for settlement expansion, barrier walls and military zones. Each week, they are met by tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades. They are arrested, detained, harassed. Under Israeli occupation, the right to peaceful protest has been effectively nullified.

Feinstein Letter Call-in Report

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Intel Committees Agree with Public: No Arms to Syria Rebels

Seventy percent of Americans oppose sending U.S. weapons to Syrian rebels, including 74% of independents, 71% of Republicans and 66% of Democrats. [1] Key Members of Congress agree: the House and Senate intelligence committees have blocked an Administration plan to arm the Syrian rebels as a “covert action.” [2]

Now, Vermont Democrat Peter Welch and New York Republican Chris Gibson are introducing an amendment on the House defense appropriations bill that would block U.S. military involvement in Syria. Urge your representative to support the Gibson-Welch amendment.

Reps. Welch and Gibson have submitted the following amendment for consideration on the defense appropriations bill in the House: [3]

None of the funds made available by this Act may be used for the purpose of, or in a manner which would have the effect of, supporting, directly or indirectly, military or paramilitary operations in Syria by any nation, group, organization, movement, or individual or, for United States military operations in Syria without the express authorization of Congress.
We don’t need another U.S. war in the Middle East. Whatever influence the U.S. has in the situation should be used to promote a political settlement that ends the war, not to add more weapons to kill more people. We don’t need more U.S. “covert” military actions that aren’t explicitly approved by Congress after open debate. We don’t need to take sides in a sectarian civil war.

There’s still time to stop this military escalation. Urge your Representative to speak up.

Thank you for all you do to help bring about a more just foreign policy,

Robert Naiman, Chelsea Mozen, Sarah Burns and Megan Iorio
Just Foreign Policy

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Give your Rep a Nudge: Call Today to Support Rare Pro-Iran Diplomacy Initiative

Thank you to everyone who emailed their Representative in Congress concerning the Dent-Price letter supporting US-Iran diplomacy. The next step in pressuring your Representative to sign is to call their office. Could you call your Representative today and ask them to sign the Dent-Price letter supporting US-Iran engagement? Here's what you do:

  1. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
  2. Ask to be connected to your Representative's office.
  3. Once you are connected to your Rep's office, tell them your name and address.
  4. Tell your Representative's office to please sign the Dent-Price letter promoting a reinvigorated US effort to engage Iran following Hassan Rouhani's election as president. If your Representative is Charlie Dent or David Price, thank them for initiating the letter.
  5. Here are some additional statements you can use to back up your ask:
    1. Rouhani ran on a platform of engaging with the world and has promised to “pursue a policy of reconciliation and peace.”
    2. Rouhani's diplomatic credentials include being Iran's lead nuclear negotiator in 2003-5 when the country made progress in talks with the EU-3, temporarily suspended uranium enrichment, and voluntarily implemented the Additional Protocol.
    3. It would be a mistake not to test Rouhani's offer of engagement. If we ignore it, we send a message that the US will respond the same way no matter what happens in Iran, undermining reformists who want an easing of tensions and emboldening those who want confrontation.
    4. The Dent-Price letter does not take a position on whether sanctions should be ramped up or relaxed, nor does it take a position on the military option.
  6. When you're done with your call, report it here:

Thank you for all you do to help bring about a more just foreign policy,