The Shalom Center: Out of Iraq Now

I've just become a signatory to this campaign, conducted by Arthur Waskow’s Shalom Center, and I urge readers of this blog to do the same.

What better time than Passover
to begin the Exodus from Iraq?

And what better time than 9/11,
Rosh Hashanah & Ramadan, to complete it?

Dear Folks,

We at The Shalom Center are sending you what will become a piece of history: the first national Jewish call for a specific time-table for ending the Iraq war -- a call for Congress to put real funding teeth in its criticism of the war. We intend to publish it as a full-page ad in the New York Times.

We call for beginning the "exodus" from Iraq by Passover and completing it by 9/11, with Rosh Hashanah and Ramadan beginning September 12 / 13. The four steps we consider necessary include de-addicting America from over-use of oil -- an addiction that helped bring on this war, and is helping to bring on global scorching.

We ask for your signature and your support in publishing this call. We have set up The Shalom Center’s Donate page to do both. It is at --


The Donate button is also on the right-hand margin of our Home Page at www.shalomctr.org

Among the signers are Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Rabbi Laura Geller, Rabbi Gerry Serotta, Rabbi Nancy Flam, Rabbi Toba Spitzer, Rabbi David Shneyer, Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, Rabbi John Friedman, former Knesset member Marcia Freedman, Shefa Fund founder Jeffrey Dekro, James and Sonia Cummings, and many others.

Please be sure to write "ad signer" in the "On behalf of" box, or if you want to support our peace work but not become a signer of this specific statement, write "peace" in the box.

We also ask you to consider carefully giving a minimum of $180. (IT'S TAX-DEDUCTIBLE.) Here's the arithmetic: The ad costs $55,000. 300 signers giving an average of $180 makes $54,000. Giving more than $180 will help balance those who really can't afford that much.

Once the ad appears, it will bring in support to make possible more action to voice a clear Jewish insistence for an early end to the war. Our voice has been missing from the chorus of opposition. Now is the crucial time.

YOUR CONTRIBUTION PRIMES THE PUMP, TO BRING FORTH THE WATERS OF COMPASSION. Please sign, and please forward this message to your friends and to other lists. This morning’s list of signers — it’s already many more -- is beneath the Call, and then a coupon for those who prefer to send a check instead of donating on-line.

Here is the full text. -- With blessings of shalom for you, and for us all.

(Rabbi Arthur Waskow)

What better time
than Passover
to begin
the Exodus
from Iraq?

An American Jewish Committee survey reveals that two-thirds of American Jews now believe the Iraq War was a mistake. It is time to act.

We ask you to join in calling on our government to bring safely home – as many members of Congress have urged, on a six-month schedule -- all American troops now in Iraq. This Exodus should begin by Passover and be completed by 9/11.

For just as Passover celebrates freedom from ancient slavery and the Pharaoh's military mindset, so today we seek freedom for both Americans and Iraqis from the death and destruction imposed by stubborn attachment to a destructive occupation. Our grief on 9/11 calls us to move beyond violence, not to escalate it. And upon the heels of 9/11 comes the wisdom of Rosh Hashanah and Ramadan, also calling us to Turn Toward Peace in our world as well as in our hearts.

Our representatives in Congress must:

1. Use their constitutional power of the purse to support our troops by ending this armed occupation and bringing them all safely home. "The king shall not amass an armed cavalry nor multiply gold and silver. Thus he will not act haughtily toward his fellow-citizens." (Deut. 17: 16-20).

2. Ask the UN, regional bodies, and non-governmental organizations to offer their services to help Iraqis peacefully resolve their future. "Justice, justice, shall you pursue." (Deut 16: 20. Tradition adds: Why “justice” twice? To achieve just ends, we must use just means.)

3. Commit fifty billion dollars -- a mere one-tenth of what the war has already cost the US -- to be spent for reconstruction, under international supervision and by Iraqi decisions. "Do not harden your heart and shut your hand against the needy. Give to them readily and have no regrets when you do so." (Deut. 15: 8-10).

4. End the American addiction to oil that was one of the main causes for this war and threats of others, for corrupt bargains with some oil-rich governments, and for global scorching, Use conservation, renewable and sustainable energy sources, emission caps, a carbon tax, and other carbon-control measures to ensure that our children can achieve the Hanukkah standard: requiring only one day's oil to meet eight days' needs.

Tradition teaches: “Seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:15) means we must pursue peace even if it is running away from us. We expect no less of our government.

Signed: (Affiliations noted for identification only.)

Rabbi Rebecca Alpert
Trisha Arlin
Kitty Axelson-Berry
Michael Basseches
John Blass
Ross Brann & Eileen Yagoda
Shoshana Brown
Cherie Brown, Natl Coalition-Building Inst.
Gerald Coles, Congregation Tikkun v'Or / Ithaca Reform Temple
Jim and Sonia Cummings
Jeffrey Dekro
Rabbi Elliot Dorff, University of Judaism
Reva Ekba
Rabbi Michael Feinberg, Greater NY Labor-Religion Coalition
Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, Colorado
Ellen Frankel, Jewish Publication Society
Marcia Freedman, Former Member Knesset
Rabbi John Friedman
Rabbi Laura Geller, Los Angeles
Murray Goldstein
Rabbi Leonard Gordon Philadelphia
Sallie and Alan Gratch
Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, Zeek
Marilyn Hacker
Jay Hamburger
Paul J Joseph
Marilyn Kaggen
Beth Kaimowitz
Howard Kaplan
Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz
Rabbi Michael Lerner, Tikkun
Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, The Shalom Center
Rabbi Ellen Lippman, Brooklyn
Steven David Masters, Esq
Jules and Ruth Mermelstein, Reconstr. Cong. Or Hadash, Ft Washington PA
Emma Missouri
Richard Neff
Carl and Susan Offner
Rabbi Marcia Prager
Heena Reiter
Ken Roseman
Harold & Sue Rosenthal
Rabbi Jeffrey Roth
Rabbi Michael Rothbaum
Richard Rudnick
Patricia Salomon
Max Samson
Sarah Saul
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi ALEPH
Rabbi Gerry Serotta Rabbis for Human Rights, North America
Jeffrey Shapiro
Deborah Shapiro
Rabbi David Shneyer, Ohalah
Marc Sklar
Eliezer Sobel
Rabbi Toba Spitzer, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Libby and Len Traubman, Co-founders, Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogues
Judith Tuller
Rabbi Arthur Waskow , The Shalom Center
John & Elsa Weber
Noah T. Winer
Francie Wolff
Paul Zulkowitz


Blogger Ralph Seliger said...

Larry and Friends:
What makes this issue difficult for me is not that the US should never have invaded Iraq in the first place, that one is easy. It's that the war is primarily not about the US being there now.

If we left Iraq immediately, would this stop the sectarian warfare that is taking hundreds of lives each week? We honestly don't know if withdrawing US troops at this point would dampen down the violence or the opposite? My impression is that a US presence in parts of Baghdad actually saves some Sunni lives; and this is apparently what many Sunnis believe. The irony of this is monumental, considering that we invaded to end a Sunni-dominated tyranny and have empowered a Shiite-dominated government today.

Maybe there's nothing better for our forces to do than to get out of the way and let the Sunnis and Shiites fight it out to a bloody mutual exhaustion. But this is not exactly a pro-peace or progressive perspective. My frustration is that there seems to be no obviously humane or correct answer to this problem.

10:47 AM  

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