Open Letter to Congress in Full Page Ad in The Hill: AIPAC Wants War on Iran; We Don’t

For Immediate Release

Open Letter to Congress in Full Page Ad in The Hill: AIPAC Wants War on Iran; We Don’t

What: Activists distribute letter to Congress and occupy the office of Sen. Lindsay Graham, sponsor of S. Res. 380
When: 12pm, Rayburn Cafeteria; 2pm, Russell Senate Office Building, Room 290

Washington, DC—On the heels of a full page ad placed by prominent generals in the Washington Post on March 5 (https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/03/05-4), a coalition of organizations, interfaith groups, and individuals have placed a full page ad in the daily newspaper The Hill opposing war on Iran.

The ad reads in part, “The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is on the warpath—this time with Iran. They say the U.S. should be willing to attack Iran or support an Israeli attack. AIPAC pushed our government into the catastrophic war in Iraq… The majority of Americans do not want another war in the Middle East and the US can’t afford a war during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.” (See full ad text here: http://j.mp/hillad)

President Obama stated to AIPAC on Sunday, “I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say. That includes all elements of American power: a political effort aimed at isolating Iran, a diplomatic effort to sustain our coalition and ensure that the Iranian program is monitored, an economic effort that imposes crippling sanctions and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency.”

An anti-war contingent with Occupy AIPAC plans to occupy the office of Senator Lindsey Graham to show opposition for S. Res. 380, a bill he sponsored which would lower the threshold for the US to go to war with Iran. They will also be visiting the offices of all the members of the House and Senate Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees.

Retired US Army Colonel and former US diplomat Ann Wright said, “President Obama in his speech to AIPAC said that a nuclear-armed Iran would thoroughly undermine the nonproliferation regime that we’ve done so much to build, yet Iran has signed the non-proliferation treaty and has submitted its facilities to international inspection while Israeli has not signed the NPT, nor allowed international inspectors into its nuclear facilities that have produced from 400-600 nuclear weapons.” Wright insists that we must challenge the rhetoric of the Obama and Netanyahu governments concerning Iran’s nuclear program and not let them force the United States into another war.

Tuesday’s planned actions are part of a weekend long effort of Occupy AIPAC, a coalition of over 130 organizations that aims to highlight the destructive and undemocratic practices of AIPAC. On Monday, an AIPAC Conference panel on Iran featuring Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Israeli Ambassador Jeremy Issacharoff had some unexpected speakers: activists with Occupy AIPAC who stood up and mic checked the congresswoman (see: http://www.occupyaipac.org/?p=2805).

Occupy AIPAC urges Obama to reject the Israeli administration’s push for war on Iran and insist on respect for Palestinian rights. This week’s actions have drawn attention to the dangerous role of AIPAC as a special interest lobby that maintains a stranglehold over US policies. As the Occupy Movement has focused public ire on the role of large corporations and powerful lobby groups, hundreds have gathered in DC to protest AIPAC’s push for war.