Inviting Netanyahu = Israeli & US Right Wings Inviting War

How Can We Strengthen Peace?

There has been a great deal of public angst about the invitation from the US House of Representatives to Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, to address the House.

Most of the angst has been directed at the disturbing process by which the House bypassed, ignored, and disrespected the Presidency by inviting Netanyahu behind the President’s back.

AND – angst is not enough. Process is not the only problem. There are real political intentions, warlike intentions, behind the invitation, and for the sake of peace – shalom, salaam, sohl — we would do well to oppose the invitation. (“Sohl” means “peace” in Farsi — the language of Iran.)

(1)      It cements the close political ties between right-wing politicians in Israel and right-wing politicians in the US. We can be grateful that the HoR invitation makes utterly visible what had been going on beneath the public radar. (For example: For years, gambling czar and union-buster Sheldon Adelson,  one of whose casinos acknowledged having probably bribed Chinese officials, has put tens of millions of his dollars behind right-wing political streams in both nations.)

Evidently, N’yahu thought this US Capitol appearance would strengthen him in Israeli politics, with an election looming soon in which his hard-right coalition may very well lose to a centrist/slightly left coalition.

Instead, this electoral trick and a similar one — the N’yahu government’s attack on Hezbollah and Iranian military units in Syria to stir up the dogs of war that usually snarl their support for right-wing governments — – has stirred furious criticism even from N’yahu’s previous comrades on the Israeli right wing.

(2)      The legislative point of the invitation was to convince or intimidate the US Congress into imposing extreme sanctions on Iran, thereby forcing collapse of the President’s diplomatic effort to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons.

Three results: far more likelihood that Iran digs into actually building nuclear weapons; far more likelihood of war — still another self-destructive war in the Middle East, destructive to the Israeli, American, and Iranian peoples; and far more likelihood that the tiny proportion of young Muslims who espouse terrorism multiplies. Still a tiny proportion, but even more dangerous.

The Bible urges: “Seek peace and pursue it”  — even when it is running away from you. In this case, peace is already catching up. How can we help?

For the sake of shalom, salaam, sohl, and sanity – these are actions we can take:

Call 1-202-224-3121 (the US Capitol) and urge your Senators and Member of the US House of Representatives  to join Vice-President Joe Biden, the two dozen Members of the House, and three Senators who have already said they will refuse to be present when Netanyahu is scheduled to speak, March 3.

If you don’t know who your Congressmember is, click to, plug in your zip code – and voila!

Urge rabbis, priests, ministers, imams, and non-clergy leaders of your religious community or congregation, to do the same.

{Forr an astute analysis of the role of Sheldon Adelson as the hinge of the two-country right-wing alliance, please click to }


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I am so disappointed in your

I am so disappointed in your fomenting distrust and almost hatred against Israel by this and several of your recent rants. What about spending at least equal if not more energy praising and promoting Israel's strengths and need for support by progressives. I can't remember when you have voiced support for Israel's worth and right to exist and flourish.


My essay strongly criticized the right-wing of the US, which now controls 2/3 of the US government. Did that mean I was claiming the US has no right to exist? My essay strongly criticized the right-wing govt of Israel. Indeed, I think the present government of Israel has violated Torah, international law, and domestic Istaeli law in its occupation and oppression of a nascent Palestine on the West Bank, Gaza, & East Jerusalem. But just as legitimate states can act in illegal and immoral ways (cf. the USA in Vietnam & Iraq) so a govt that acts in disgusting ways may still represent a legitimate state.

I also noted the existence of both a centrist/slightly leftist opposition coalition and the possibility it might win the next election. That possibility is a banner of Tikva, of Hope. It is a banner of an Israel that would not only be legitimate internationally but also a societyy yearning toward justice, compassion, and healing.  The present government is not. It deserves, and the Israeli people needs, strong criticism of that government. To reject all criticism of the government of  Israel runs the risk of idolatry – making the State itself or its government into a false god. —   Rabbi Arthur Waskow       

Ellison has a letter asking that the speech be postponed

Reps. Ellison, Cohen, and Waters have a letter to Boehner asking that the speech be postponed. The letter is supported by J Street and Americans for Peace Now. People contacting House Members should ask that their Representative sign the Ellison letter.

Rep. Keith Ellison: Postpone Bibi's Speech to Congress

There is a place to report calls here:

There is a MoveOn petition here:

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