New Jersey Peace Action sends representative to Middle East
Executive Director to attend anti-nuclear conference in Israel
– Haifa and Ramallah
Contact: Madelyn Hoffman, Executive Director, New Jersey Peace Action, 973-259-1126 (office) 973-876-1023 (cell)
Judith Arnold, Board President, 973-398-0725
Kevin Martin, Executive Director, Peace Action at 301-565-4050 ext. 307
Bloomfield – New Jersey Peace Action (NJPA) is sending its executive director, Madelyn Hoffman, to Israel to participate in an international conference calling for an elimination of nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
The group, which was founded in 1957 in opposition to nuclear arms race and the testing of nuclear weapons during the Cold War, has over the years urged governments to reduce military budgets and spend more money on social programs.
The Israeli conference, titled “For a Nuclear Weapons and Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East” will be held on December 5th and 6th in the northern Israeli city, Haifa and on December 7th in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
“We are so happy to have Madelyn represent us in Israel and Palestine,” said Judith Arnold, president of NJPA. “We feel that now, following the agreement between the United States and Iran, is the perfect time to call on all countries in the Middle East to disarm. Our participation in this conference will help to support that diplomatic agreement.”
The conference is advocating for the immediate implementation of the United Nations general assembly resolution from May 2010 which called for an international meeting in Helsinki, Finland under the auspices of the UN to promote the creation of a nuclear free zone in the Middle East. That meeting never took place due to the decision of Israel and the United States not to participate.
Israeli organizers of the conference say that the coming together of peace and human rights organizations from abroad, and the widening support among peace and progressive forces within Israel and Palestine, could turn the conference into a landmark in the struggle for nuclear disarmament in the Middle East. They also see the conference as a real and viable alternative to plans for a war against Iran.
Howard D. Lipoff, a member of the NJPA Board of Directors, said that the organization feels it is important for activists in New Jersey to support the efforts of peace groups in Israel and Palestine. “Madelyn Hoffman’s visit will show Israelis and Palestinians that there are many Americans who support them in their efforts to bring peace to their region and to lead their country on a different path than the one advocated by Prime Minister Netanyahu,” Lipoff said.
Said Madelyn Hoffman, Executive Director of NJPA, “I am honored to attend this historic conference about the creation of a nuclear weapons free/weapons of mass destruction free Middle East. Lost in the talk about preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is the fact that Israel already has them. NJPA’s ultimate goal is the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide, but the establishment of a nuclear weapons-free Middle East would be a significant first step.”