Hillel presents Rep. Tom Lantos with a petition urging Congress to support sanctions against Iran.
(March 28, 2007 - WASHINGTON, DC) Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life presented House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) with a petition urging Congress and the Administration to continue their support of diplomatic and economic sanctions against Iran. Additionally, we urge you to build consensus in Europe and the U.N. to support these sanctions and maintain pressure on Iran until their leaders pursue a more peaceful agenda.
Students from George Washington University Hillel made the presentation on behalf of the Hillel movement.
The online petition was signed by 12,000 individuals. Hillel will also send the petition to the White House and the United Nations.
"We must hold the Iranian regime accountable for its anti-Jewish, anti-Israel and anti-Western policies," said Hillel Executive Vice President Ralph Grunewald.
The event was poignant for Lantos who was brought to the United States in 1947 as part of Hillel's Refugee Student Program. Lantos told the Hillel students: "It says wonderful things about Hillel, which took a penniless survivor of the Holocaust and gave him an opportunity. And it says wonderful things about this country because nowhere else could a penniless Jew from Budapest, a survivor of the Holocaust make a life for himself first in academe and then in government and end up as the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. What you are doing is unbelievably important."
Hillel began its petition drive in February before the holiday of Purim which marks the end of a plot in ancient Persia to eliminate the Jewish community. The petition drive was given momentum with the announcement of meetings between Iranian and U.S. officials, and with a prospective U.N. visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.
Rep. Lantos, the co-chairman and founder of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, has been an outspoken critic of the Iranian regime.