The following is made especially for advocacy to oppose the “Iran Deal.” Most of the advice below can be adapted for a variety of other issues and situations. Save a copy, keep it handy, share it with others.
The elements and consequences of the “Iran Deal” negotiated between the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China (P5+1) and Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear-weapons program and other matters are likely the most significant and dangerous developments to face America, Israel and the world in a generation or more.
Advocacy is crucial, but it is effective, strategic and timely advocacy that will help accomplish our goal: To get lawmakers to oppose the deal and override a presidential veto. Please see Philadelphia ZOA’s “Media Contact List” and “Congress List” for contact information.
There are four key segments where advocacy is needed.
Media and Popular Culture
The American Public
Influential Others (donors, corporate America, allies, local leaders)
Lawmakers have direct responsibilty. Before you call: Be informed about the situation (“the deal”) from a reliable and legiti-mate news source or organization. Jot down some key concepts and phrases. Odds are, when you phone a lawmaker, an intern or clerk will answer the call. There is nothing wrong with that. They can tally whether you are for or against the Iran deal, but not much more. So first mention you are a constituent, and politely ask for a legislative aide, foreign policy advi-sor, senior staffer or chief of staff. Respectfully but firmly explain to that person why the lawmaker must oppose the Iran deal — based on facts and concerns. Be concise. Contact both local and Washington offices for both of your senators and your House member. Consult the ZOA Guide or Internet (www.senate.gov and www.house.gov) for contact information.)
Media and Popular Culture
While each of us may be able to reach dozens of people (or perhaps hundreds via social media), the media and yes, celebri-ties, can reach and influence tens of thousands and even millions. They can amplify our individual voices.
Letters-to-the-editor: Two types: Pro-active and Re-active. Examples: I am concerned that the UN inspections regime is flawed and my family will be in jeopardy (pro-active) and The professor you quoted in your article yesterday is wrong to believe that Iran’s mullahs can be trusted to keep a deal because they have violated every previous agreement (re-active). No letter should exceed 200 words. Check spelling and grammar, be concise and focused on one or two issues. (Consult the ZOA Media Contact List for information.)
Talk-radio: The “Iran deal” will be an ongoing hot topic on both local and national talk-radio shows. Call in to com-ment when this is the topic. Many shows also have a regular “open-line” day or time when any subject is welcome. Be clear, concise, passionate, respectful. Name-calling or extremely partisan rhetoric accomplishes nothing. A nuclear Iran will im-pact every American for the foreseeable future.
Contacting reporters, editors, news directors, publishers, station management: There is nothing wrong with a polite phone call or email to the aforementioned to discuss something already published or broadcast, or to discuss future or gen-eral coverage whether it is about biased reporting, lack of coverage, biased sources, placement of reports, etc. Sometimes the information is listed with the article. You may have to search for a general number for the specific media outlet and follow the prompts or contact the operator.
Electronic publications and blogs: There are literally thousands of internet-only publications, podcasts and blogs. Many offer opportunities for you, the readers/listeners/viewers to post, comment and rebut. These tend to be less formal than traditional media. Nonetheless, be respectful, accurate and concise.
Celebrities: Few things are as influential as a “Bruce Springsteen” delivering a political comment to thousands of fans between songs during a concert, or a “Kim Khardasian” tweeting a message to her millions of followers. You can communicate with many of them via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like. Ask them respectfully to take up this cause. Explain to them and their fans the implications of a nuclear Iran. Be accurate, respectful, concise. You might also find information on the Internet for agents and management. Contact them as well and ask their clients take up the cause.
Those We Know
Each of us knows other people: Family, neighbors, colleagues, friends, the cashier at the grocery story, your hair-dresser, another mom at the soccer game — and many others. Many of you are active on various social-media platforms. Incorporate elements from above into these interactions. Again: Be respectful, concise, non-confrontational. Your goal is to inform and educate them and inspire and motivate them to replicate the actions you are already taking: to make calls, write and communicate with many others. Don’t forget friends and family in other states and congressional districts.
The goal of all of the above steps is to expand this effort exponentially. To create a tsunami of opposition to the “Iran Deal.” But there are still others who will be effected by the Iran deal and who may have influence on lawmakers and even the White House.
Other Influentials: communal leaders, clergy, donors, corporate America, allies
America was not the only party involved in the P5+1 talks. Those other nations have embassies in Washington. Con-tact those embassies to register your concern and ask that they convey your concerns to their respective governments and to reconsider supporting the deal. America’s friends and allies such as Canada also have Washington embassies. Again: Contact them, make your case, ask them to use whatever influence their respective governments have.
On a smaller scale than the celebrities, communal leaders and clergy have respect and followings. Their expressions have impact. Ask that they publicly address these issues from the rostrum or the pulpit.
While lawmakers are supposed to treat every constituent equally, let’s face it: Large donors and “bundlers” and those involved in PACs seem to have greater access and their messages tend to resonate more. At fec.gov and other sites, you can research who some of these individuals and groups are. If you decide to contact them, all of the above rules apply: Be respectful, concise, no threats, accurate information, etc.
Corporations and their leaderships also have influence, as do their shareholders. If you decide to contact them, all of the above rules apply: Be respectful, concise, no threats, accurate information, etc.
The bottom line
Most of you reading this are no-doubt deeply concerned about the well-being of Israel and her people, but the consequences of a nuclear-armed terrorist nation of Iran are much broader. Iranian leaders and their followers chant “Death to America,” burn our flag and have killed and maimed thousands of American service personnel and have been involved in terrorist attacks that have murdered and wounded countless other Americans as well as those of other Western nations. In all of the above advocacy, education and activism we must stress the impact on each of us personally: Family, neighbors, friends, strangers. Make it personal: Point out how it effects every American.
If we are to succeed, this effort must be optimistic, tenacious, mostly-pro-active. It must extend across racial, religious, de-nominational, ethnic and partisan lines. We must each commit to the time and energy it will take to accomplish the task at hand. Similar efforts have been undertaken in the past and have succeeded if the will is there. We have lessons from our heritage; we have examples such as “D-Day” when beaches were stormed. Time is of the essence. We must all become en-gaged immediately in this cause.