"Some are quilty, all are responsible."
Ruth Messinger, USA
February 15, 2003
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: "in a free society, where terrible
wrongs exist, some are guilty, all are responsible."
As people of conscience we are responsible for what our government
We are here exercising that responsibility. we will continue to be
heard, to stand strong, to speak truth to power, to say no to a
unilateral pre-emptive war.
Because silence in the face of this threat is unacceptable.
Because silence in this instance is betrayal.
Because there are serious international efforts underway to stop Iraq
and Hussein without going to war.
Because there is no plan for this war, no commitment to rebuilding
Because in a war tens of thousands of lives will be lost. Mothers,
fathers, sons, daughters. Lives of Americans. Lives of Iraqis. Other lives. Precious lives.
Because a war will cost us $200 billion, more than we now spend on
health care, education, job training, housing and environmental
protection for our own citizens—a sure prescription, as Dr. King
warned, for spiritual death.
The money we will spend on this war could provide health insurance to
every kid in the United States, double the funding for renewable
energy, feed the 30 thousand children around the world who die from
hunger every day, invest to make a serious impact on the global Aids
We stand united, to speak out, to do all we can to change the world.
Let us never retreat to the convenience of being overwhelmed. We are
powerful. We can make a difference.
Never doubt that a small group of citizens can change the world. It
is the only thing that ever has.
Ruth Messinger is Chair of the Board of the American Jewish World Service, in New York, a not-for profit organization helping to alleviate poverty, hunger, and disease among the people of the world regardless of race, religion, or nationality.
The above speech was made on Saturday, February 15, 2003, at the anti-war rally in New York City.