We started out as a small group of Jewish Americans (mostly university
professors) who got together by e-mail in April 2002 to draft this
Open Letter. It took off more rapidly than we ever dreamed, with
hundreds of people spontaneously offering contributions to help
publish it as a full-page advertisement in the New York Times.
We have no organizational
ambitions of our own. Our goals are to publish the Open Letter as
widely as possible, both in the U.S. and in the Middle East, and
to put our supporters in contact with existing Jewish peace organizations
that have long-term educational and lobbying strategies
How many people have signed?
There are 3875 signatures as of September 15, 2004. But this figure
is already out-of-date, as more signatures are pouring in every
day. Click here for the current
list of signatories.
Where has the Open Letter been published so far?
New York Times, June 7 and July 17, 2002
Jewish Forward, July 5, 2002
Palm Beach Post, August 8, 2002
L'Unità (Italy), August 10, 2002
Dallas Morning News, August 13, 2002
Ha'aretz (Israel), August 15, 2002, Hebrew and English editions
Jordan Times (Jordan), August 15, 2002
Il Manifesto (Italy), August 25, 2002
Jewish Star Times (supplement to Miami Herald), September 4, 2002
Jewish Journal (supplement to Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel), September 5, 2002
London Review of Books (England), September 19, 2002
Chicago Reader, September 20, 2002
Boulder Sunday Camera, November 24, 2002
Palo Alto Daily News, December 13, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle, January 21, 2003
Grass-roots groups in several American cities and towns are
now working on publishing the Open Letter
(or a locally tailored version of it)
in their local newspapers.
If you might be interested in organizing such a local effort,
please contact us.
How can I
To add your name to the list of signers,
click here and fill out the form.
Can non-Jews sign?
When we organized this petition, we made the tactical decision that
a petition coming specifically from Jewish
Americans was likely
to have a greater impact. In particular, we want to contest the
"official" Jewish organizations' right to speak in the
name of all American Jews concerning the Middle East, and we want
to break politicians' fear of an allegedly monolithic "Jewish
voting bloc" that uncritically supports anything that any Israeli
So, for the
moment we are including as signers of the Open Letter only those
people who consider themselves Jewish -- either ethnically, culturally
or religiously (we're not imposing any tests: each person decides
But we are also
exploring ways of participating in wider pro-peace initiatives --
this issue concerns all of us, both Jews and non-Jews.
So please do
forward the Open Letter, along with this explanation, to your friends
and colleagues -- Jewish ones of course, but also non-Jews, as
we want the ideas to be discussed as widely as possible among Americans
of all ethnicities.
If you are not
Jewish and/or not American but want to receive updates
on our work, please
click here, check the appropriate
box, and complete the information in the form.
Do you need contributions?
Yes! We would very much like to publish the Open Letter in as many
newspapers as possible, both around the U.S. and in the Middle East.
Alas, ads are expensive! If you are able and willing to contribute
to this effort, your contribution of any size will be gratefully
accepted. Click here for more
information on contributions.