I am a signatory, along with Noam Chomsky and a number of other Jews around the world, to the following petition, currently being spread far and wide:
Efforts to beat the drums of war for an attack on Iran’s nuclear reactor facilities are promoted in both the USA and Israel scenes. The recent New York Times opinion piece of July 18th, written by the Israeli historian Benny Morris, serves to consolidate those political forces. The Jewish opposition here expresses our outrage in order to forestall this horrendous proposal.
That clamour for war with Iran has met not only popular opposition but also runs counter to the quiet diplomacy that has engaged Iran in ongoing relations with the UN nuclear agency, as well as economic trade talks with the USA itself. Israel is also committed to a cease-fire that has held now for a month’s time, to the relief of both the populations of Israel and Gaza. In light of the developing political atmosphere of reason and negotiations, the militarist mindset has pumped up its rationale for war attempting to create the preconditions for a further war. Morris seeks to fabricate such prior conditions arguing,
“They are likely to use any bomb they build, both because of ideology and because of fear of Israeli nuclear pre-emption. Thus an Israeli nuclear strike to prevent the Iranians from taking the final steps toward getting the bomb is probable. The alternative is letting Tehran have its bomb. In either case, a Middle Eastern nuclear holocaust would be in the cards.” (Benny Morris, ” Using Bombs to Stave Off War,” New York Times, July 18, 2008)
This promotion of inevitability plays on Jewish and Israeli memory of the Nazi Holocaust in order to garner any and every source of support for an Israel military strike against Iran, provoking a reaction and leading to a further war by drawing in the USA. This is particularly deplorable in view of the fact that 16 US intelligence agencies concluded that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program and has not had one for five years.
We extol the heroic courage of Israel’s nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu, joining our voices to his in condemnation of Israel’s illegal stockpile of nuclear warheads and support the call for a nuclear-free Middle East.
The mindset calling for a war of mutual annihilation as a solution to security is astoundingly self-contradictory. Only the fabrication of a Nazi-like threat seeks to provide any credibility to such a call to war, much like the rationale for occupation that perceives a Palestinian plot to drive Jews into the sea. The reference to Iranian ideology (Islam) as the source of confrontation does not stand up to scrutiny, since the political challenge to Israel by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is not a call for extermination, despite any mistranslation.
We seek security for all concerned by affirming the right of all to security. While we lend no credibility to the prospect of an inevitable conflict, we nonetheless object to the hysteria promoted by the Iran-bashers who are now desperate in their repeated false starts to create another unnecessary war. The attempt to oblige Iran to comply with Security Council resolutions loses its legal, diplomatic and political force as the United States and Israel consistently ignore UN diplomacy and World Court decisions, relevant to the question of Palestine. We call upon all opposed to a military confrontation with Iran to write their governmental representatives demanding that the State of Israel subject its nuclear facilities to international inspection and sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) as has Iran, rather than issue threats of war.