WASHINGTON (AP) — Oregon’s Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley on Sunday became the 31st senator to announce support for the Iran nuclear deal, as momentum builds behind the agreement the Obama administration and other world powers negotiated with Tehran.
Merkley’s backing puts supporters within reach of the 34 votes required to uphold a presidential veto of a congressional resolution disapproving the agreement, which curbs Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.
I am honored to speak on behalf of Jewish Voice for Peace, which stands in solidarity with the people of Iran, the people of the U.S., and people of conscience across our precious planet who yearn for our leaders to courageously move us towards peaceful relations with Iran and away from setting us on a path that, once on it, one simple miscalculation, might lead us inexorably toward war with Iran.
If you thought the Iraq war was a tragic disaster, get this:
Iran is a regional power with a strong military. It is three times as populous and geographically much larger than Iraq. So, multiply everything in the Iraq War by three to get a sense of the cost of a war against Iran:
Immediate cost: $3 trillion
Long term cost, including veteran care: at least 10 trillion dollars
US troops killed: over 15,000
US troops seriously wounded: over 100,000
Iranian dead: 3 million
Iranians displaced: 12-15 million!
Let’s be clear: the U.S. has long had Iran virtually encircled as a result of the American occupation of Afghanistan on Iran’s Eastern border, its invasion of Iraq on its Western border, its NATO ally Turkey hovering on Iran’s Northwestern border, some degree of military relationship with Turkmenistan on Iran’s Northeastern border, and multiple U.S. client states sitting right across the Persian Gulf (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain, where the massive US 5th Fleet is stationed). Additionally, some combination of the U.S. and Israel has bombarded Iran with multiple acts of war in recent years, including explosions on Iranian soil, the murder of numerous Iranian nuclear scientists, and sophisticated cyber-attacks.
Over 1,000 Black activists, artists, scholars, students, and organizations have launched a statement expressing their solidarity and commitment to ensuring justice for Palestinians. Signatories to the statement span a wide cross-section of Black activists and scholars, including Angela Davis, Boots Riley, Cornel West, dream hampton, Emory Douglas, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Pam Africa, Patrisse Cullors, Phil Hutchings, Ramona Africa, Robin DG Kelley, Rosa Clemente, Talib Kweli, and Tef Poe. 38 organizations signed on, including The Dream Defenders, Hands Up United, Institute of the Black World 21st Century, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and Organization for Black Struggle.
Israel's Military Intelligence monitoring dozens of BDS groups around the world
While the IDF is responsible for foreign groups, local groups supporting BDS are monitored by the Shin Bet.
The Israel Defense Forces routinely gathers information on foreign, left-wing organizations that it believes are working to delegitimize the State of Israel, Haaretz has learned.
Read more on Haaretz
UN Officials call for an immediate demolitions freeze in the West Bank
Jerusalem, 18 August 2015
Today, the Coordinator for Humanitarian and UN Development Activities for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Robert Piper, and the Director of UNRWA Operations West Bank, Felipe Sanchez, expressed grave concern about demolitions that were carried out yesterday by the Israeli Civil Administration in vulnerable Palestinian Bedouin refugee communities in Area C, near East Jerusalem. The officials both called for an immediate freeze on demolitions in the West Bank.
A total of 22 structures were demolished in four communities (Khan al Ahmar Abu Falah, Wadi Sneysel, Bir Miskoob and Az Zayyem Bedouin), displacing 78 Palestinians, including 49 children, the vast majority of whom are Palestine refugees. All four communities are located in and around the area of the planned E-1 settlement. According to UN records, this is the largest number of Palestinians displaced in the West Bank in one day in nearly three years. Concerns are also rising over reports of new displacements today in the Jordan Valley community of Fasayil al Wusta.
“Yesterday’s demolitions targeted some of the most vulnerable communities in the West Bank,” Mr. Piper said. “The scale of displacement is particularly concerning - nearly 50 children lost their homes yesterday.”
“Many of these refugee families have now been displaced four times in the last four years” said Mr. Sanchez.
Read more: UN Officials call for an immediate demolitions freeze in the West Bank
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