For Immediate Release
A New Era: Activists Celebrate a Victory for Peace, Call for A New Approach to Mid-East Policy
WASHINGTON - Jewish Voice for Peace joins supporters of peace and diplomacy worldwide celebrating another step towards securing the Congressional support to uphold the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action negotiated between the P5+1 and Iran. After the 41st Senator announced their support for the deal today, President Obama secured the votes needed to filibuster a Congressional resolution of disapproval and avoid a veto. As Congress discusses the deal alongside bills and amendments designed to undermine it this week, we continue to urge our elected officials to do the right thing by supporting diplomacy.
At the same time, we reject proposals to reward Israel’s opposition to the deal with even more military aid used to fund human rights abuses and Israel’s continued illegal occupation of Palestinian land. Further, we call on all policymakers concerned about a nuclear arms race in the Middle East to demand that Israel, whose nuclear weapons capacity is well-known, sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty.
Rabbi Joseph Berman, JVP Government Affairs Liaison, stated: “The passage of the Iran deal will mark a historic moment in US foreign policy. This victory, which countless organizations and individuals contributed to, proves the power of grassroots advocacy. This achievement demonstrates that advocates of peace and justice can win over the well-financed advocates of war. This is a strong deal, one with strict safeguards and unprecedented levels of oversight, and one that is in the interest of the entire international community.”
A national, grassroots organization that advocates for a more just US foreign policy in the Middle East, Jewish Voice for Peace mobilized thousands of members and supporters to take action in support of the nuclear deal with Iran. JVP members and supporters sent over 70,000 letters to their Congressional representatives, met with over 45 congressional offices, made tens of thousands of phone calls and wrote numerous letters to the editor and op-eds.
However, the fight for a more just foreign policy is far from over. Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace stated: “Those of us who care about peace in the Middle East should care that this deal may well come at the cost of a significant increase in military aid to Israel. The US already gives Israel unprecedented levels of military aid, US taxpayer money which helped financed Israeli military aggression against Palestinians in Gaza last summer, aid that sustains the nearly 48-year military occupation of the West Bank, and aid that fuels the military-industrial complex both in Israel and in the US. This is a new era, Congress and the Administration have demonstrated that they can defy the Israel lobby when it comes to key issues of international diplomacy. The same courage is needed to chart a new course towards ending decades of repressing Palestinian rights and freedom.”
Jewish Voice for Peace members are inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, equality, human rights, respect for international law, and a U.S. foreign policy based on these ideals.
JVP opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression. JVP seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem; security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians; a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on principles established in international law; an end to violence against civilians; and peace and justice for all peoples of the Middle East.