Lobbyists from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) are pressing your senators and representative to support legislation that, if adopted as written, would push the United States significantly closer to war with Iran.
If it were only Republicans like Lindsey Graham - the lead sponsor of AIPAC's Senate bill - supporting AIPAC's attack on the Iran policy of the Obama administration, that would be cause for less concern. President Obama just defeated Graham on the same arguments when the Senate voted to confirm Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.
But, unfortunately, because AIPAC has significant pull with many Senate and House Democrats, this time it's not just about Graham. Senators such as Barbara Boxer and Ron Wyden are supporting AIPAC's pro-war attack on Obama's Iran policy. Once again we're being told that the United States must push toward war with Iran because that's allegedly what "American Jews" want, even though AIPAC's pro-war agenda has nothing to do with the values and interests of the vast majority of American Jews.
Jewish Voice for Peace and Avaaz teamed up to drive home the point that AIPAC doesn't speak for American Jews with a beautiful campaign of billboards in DC metro stations:
Jewish and Proud
And AIPAC DOES NOT Speak for Me
President Obama, Congress: Most Jewish Americans are pro-peace. AIPAC is not.
But unfortunately, beautiful billboards in metro stations might not be enough to inoculate Congress against AIPAC's push for war, with AIPAC's army of lobbyists swarming the Hill.
At times like these, don't you wish that there were a DC insider, Jewish-led, Israel-identified, pro-peace organization that would go toe-to-toe with AIPAC in Congress and try to stop AIPAC's drive for war?
Blessed art Thou, Lord our God, King of the Universe: Americans for Peace Now is in the house.
On Tuesday, APN sent urgent appeals to the Senate and the House: "Do not cosponsor AIPAC's pro-war bills."
About Lindsey Graham's bill, S. Res. 65, APN begins:
Americans for Peace Now has serious concerns about S. Res. 65, an AIPAC-backed resolution recently introduced in the Senate that has been nicknamed by some the "Backdoor to War" resolution, since it effectively gives a green light for Israeli military action against Iran that, if carried out, would almost certainly require the US to join the fight.
APN is urging Senators to refuse to cosponsor S. Res. 65.
Given the gravity of the issues at stake, APN is urging Senators to also refuse to permit S. Res. 65 to be ramrodded through the Senate according to a timetable defined by AIPAC - or any outside group.
We are urging Senators to instead call for a serious deliberation process, including committee hearings and markups, during which concerns about S. Res. 65 can be aired and deficiencies in the resolution can be addressed.
About AIPAC's House bill, HR 850, APN begins:
Americans for Peace Now has serious concerns about HR 850, an AIPAC-backed Iran sanctions bill recently introduced in the House of Representatives.
APN is urging House members to refuse to cosponsor HR 850.
Given the gravity of the issues at stake, APN is urging House members to refuse to permit HR 850 to be ramrodded through Congress according to a timetable defined by AIPAC - or any outside group.
We are urging House members to instead call for a serious deliberation process, including committee hearings and markups during which concerns about HR 850 can be aired and deficiencies in the bill can be addressed.
Some folks who oppose war with Iran may be put off by some of the insider language in APN's draft letters to the House and Senate. You can edit the letters as you like. Or you could just click the button. You voted for Obama to defeat McCain and Romney, right? You supported Chuck Hagel's nomination for Secretary of Defense? As far as war and peace in the Middle East are concerned, this is exactly the same fight.
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