SPEECH OF HON. JANICE D. SCHAKOWSKY OF ILLINOIS
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
FRIDAY, JANUARY 10, 2014
Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to highlight a Rabbinic Statement, ``Step by Step toward Shalom with Iran.''
Signed by 120 Rabbis, including my own Rabbi, Andrea London of Beth Emet Synagogue in Evanston, IL, the statement opposes any actions that would undermine ongoing negotiations, emphasizes the importance of peaceful conflict resolution, and welcomes the possibility of negotiations with Iran.
As we continue to work to ensure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons, I believe that the Rabbinic Statement offers an important perspective.
RABBINIC STATEMENT: ``STEP BY STEP TOWARD SHALOM WITH IRAN''
As Rabbis, Cantors, and other Clergy serving the American Jewish community, we are deeply committed, as Jewish tradition teaches--
to the shalom--peace, social justice, functioning democratic process, and ecological sanity--of the country where we live--all of which would be damaged by still another unnecessary war;
to the shalom, peace and security, of the State of Israel, to its democratic character, and to its special relationship with the Jewish people;
to unequivocal action by all the Arab-majority and Muslim-majority states to make peace with Israel, and to Israel's unequivocal action to make peace with all its neighbors, including an emergent Palestine;
to our respect and our prayers for salaam, peace and justice, among our cousins in the Abrahamic tradition, Arab and Muslim civilizations;
to the peace and prosperity of all the ``70 nations'' of the world;
and to the healing of our wounded planet.
For all these reasons, we welcome warmly the greatly increased possibility of a peaceful resolution of the conflicts among the U.S., Iran, Israel, and other nations.
We especially welcome the new attitudes toward the Jewish people and toward the nuclear issue set forth by the new President of Iran, and his assertion that Iran will never hold nuclear weapons. We also recall the fatwa and repeated assertions by Grand Ayatollah Khamenei that for Iran to possess nuclear weapons would violate Islam.
We urge the U.S. and Iran to move swiftly to agree on a step-by-step process of reducing and ultimately ending sanctions against Iran in accord with steps by Iran to make its nuclear research transparent and to allow verification that its research is directed wholly toward civilian uses of nuclear energy. We believe that such a step-by-step process is the best way to guarantee that both parties are fulfilling their commitments.
We urge Iran to make clear its full acceptance of Israel as a legitimate state in the fabric of international relations, protected like all other states from aggression and attack.
We urge the Government of Israel to welcome steps by Iran to make clear and verifiable its commitment to use nuclear energy and research for peaceful purposes only, not for pursuit of nuclear weaponry, and while this process is under way, we urge Israel to end hostile acts and statements toward Iran.
We urge the peoples of the United States, Iran, and Israel to reject and oppose all statements and actions from whatever source that undermine the swift and thorough achievement of agreements to ensure the civilian nature of Iran's nuclear program and to end sanctions against Iran.
We urge the American people to recognize and do tshuvah (``turning'' or ``repentance'') for the ethical errors of our own government toward Iran particularly--the U.S. Government's intervention in 1953 to overthrow the democratically elected reform government of Iran; U.S. actions to support the tyrannical regime of the Shah until the Iranian people overthrew it in 1979; and U.S. support for Iraq's wars of aggression against Iran in the 1980s, including U.S. support for Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons to kill 100,000 Iranians.
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We urge the Iranian people to do tshuvah for their government's demonization of the United States and Israel, for its holding U.S. diplomats hostage for more than a year in 1979-1980, and for the support it seems to have covertly given for attacks on Israeli citizens.
We believe that this combination of governmental acts and public rethinking and re-feeling can move American society, the entire Middle East, and the world toward the shalom that Judaism yearns for.
Rabbi Amy Eilberg, Rabbi Everett Gendler, Rabbi Marc Gopin, Rabbi Dr. David Gordis, Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Rabbi Ellen Lippmann, Rabbi Gerry Serotta, Rabbi David Shneyer, Rabbi Susan Talve, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Rabbi Sheila Weinberg, Rabbi Rebecca Alpert, Rabbi Ethan Bair. Kohenet Ellie Barbarash, Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, Rabbi Benjamin Barnett, Rabbi Eliot Baskin, Rabbi Renee Bauer, Rabbi Dennis Beck-Berman, Rabbi Leonard Beerman, Rabbi Marjorie Berman, Rabbi Phyllis Berman, Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, Rabbi Binyamin Biber, Kohenet Shoshana Bricklin, Rabbi Jason Bright, Rabbi Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus, Rabbi Joshua Chasan, Rabbi Aryeh Cohen. Rabbi Andrea Cohen Kiener, Rabbi Hillel Cohn, Rabbi David J. Cooper, Rabbi Robert Dobrusin, Rabbi Art Donsky, Rabbi Doris Dyen, Rabbi Renee Edelman, Rabbi Diane Elliot, Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, Kohenet Ahava Lilith EverShine, Rabbi Ted Falcon, Rabbi Charles Feinberg, Rabbi Michael Feinberg, Rabbi Fern Feldman, Rabbi Brian Field, Rabbi Tirzah Firestone. Rabbi Nancy Flam, Rabbi Jeff Foust, Rabbi Ruth Gais, Rabbi Hillel Gamoran, Maggid Andrew Gold, Rabbi Dan Goldblatt, Rabbi Laurie Green, Rabbi Julie Greenberg, Rabbi Moshe Halfon, Rabbi/Kohenet Jill Hammer, Rabbi Edwin Harris, Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann, Kohenet Judith Hollander, Rabbi Linda Holtzman, Rabbi Shaya Isenberg. Rabbi Burt Jacobson, Rabbi Josh Jacobs-Velde, Kohenet Sharon Jaffe, Rabbi Melissa Klein, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Rabbi David L Kline, Rabbi Debra Kolodny, Rabbi Douglas Krantz, Rabbi Hannah Laner, Rabbi Daniel Lehrman, Rabbi Jason van Leeuwen, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Kohenet Carly ``Ketzirah'' Lesser, Rabbi Richard Levy, Rabbi Annie Lewis, Rabbi Andrea London. Cantor Abbe Lyons, Rabbi Jeffrey Marker, Rabbi Nathan Martin, Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon, Maggid Melvin Metelits, Rabbi Yocheved Mintz, Kohenet Tiana Mirapai, Rabbi David Mivasair, Rabbi Lee Moore, Hazan Judith Naimark, Rabbi Laura Owens, Cantor Steven Puzarne, Rabbi Victor Reinstein, Cantor Stephen Richards, Rabbi/Kohenet Margie Klein Ronkin, Rabbi Moti Rieber, Rabbi Brant Rosen, Cantor Aviva Rosenbloom, Cantor Richard Rosenfield, Rabbi Jeff Roth, Kohenet Mei Mei Sanford, Hazan Pamela Sawyer, Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Rabbi Chaim Schneider, Rabbi Randy Schoch, Kohenet Alumah Schuster, Rabbi Dr. Arthur Segal, Rabbi Jonathan Slater, Rabbi Eric Solomon. Cantor Robin Sparr, Rabbi David Spitz, Rabbi Toba Spitzer, Rabbi Margot Stein, Rabbi Naomi Steinberg, Rabbi Gershon Steinberg-Caudill, Rabbi Danielle Stillman, Rabbi Alana Suskin, Rabbi Louis Sutker, Rabbi Daniel Swartz, Rabbi Renae Toben, Rabbi Brian Walt, Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, Hazan Gregory Yaroslow, Rabbi Barbara Zacky, Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman.