Pelavin: “On this anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, the Iranian government has, again, made clear its character through its actions: willingness to resort to violence, suppression of free speech and press, and belligerent unilateralism that puts the entire international community at risk.”
Contact: Kate Bigam or Liz Piper-Goldberg
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WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb 12, 2010 – In response to this week’s actions of the Iranian government, Mark Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
We condemn this week’s intensified repression by the Iranian regime. The ongoing killing, injuring, and detention of peaceful Iranian protesters since the fraudulent presidential elections in June 2009 are an attack on very liberty and freedom to which all people are entitled.
On this anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, the Iranian government has, again, made clear its character through its actions: willingness to resort to violence, suppression of free speech and press, and belligerent unilateralism that puts the entire international community at risk.
Further, Iran’s ongoing defiance of international nuclear non-proliferation agreements remains unacceptable. Yesterday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared Iran a “nuclear state.” Now more than ever, the threat of a nuclear Iran is of concern to the United States, Israel, and all nations of the world.
As Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel declared, “The most basic way in which all men may be divided is between those who believe war is unnecessary and those who believe that war is inevitable; between those to whom the sword is the symbol of honor and those to whom seeking to convert swords into plowshares is the only way to keep our civilization from disaster.”
The Iranian regime leaves us without faith in its willing to productively negotiate or responsibly interact with the global community. The Iranian regime cannot continue with the violent treatment of its citizens and the pursuit of nuclear weapons capability. The stakes could not be higher.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis.