“No, Mr. Netanyahu—you do not speak for American Jews."

Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday was arranged by House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, without the agreement or cooperation of the White House. The day before the speech, Rabbi Lerner and Tikkun ran a full-page ad in The New York Times and, then, on Tuesday, repeated the ad in The Hill newspaper. It was topped with a simple, bold headline: “No, Mr. Netanyahu—you do not speak for American Jews. And … The American People Do Not Want a War with Iran!”

The ad, which used powerful evidence and arguments against the harmful ideas that the Israeli prime minister is spreading about both Iran and the Jewish-American diaspora, included more than 2,000 signatures from people who supported Tikkun’s protest. Rabbi Lerner spoke out in other ways, too. He had articles Tuesday on the Salon and Huffington Post websites in which he disassembled Netanyahu’s motives and arguments.

Although Netanyahu resorted to a language of hate and fear, Rabbi Lerner chose to propagate a positive message of dissidence and strength, and, most important and perhaps most courageously, an achievable plan for peace. In each ad and article, Lerner pointed toward an alternative to what the Israeli leader is so forcefully proposing. Netanyahu’s insistence on further escalating sanctions against Iran will lead to “two predictable consequences,” the rabbi argued, the first of which is that it would inspire the Iranian people to redirect their anger away from the mullahs’ regime and toward Israel and the U.S. Secondly, Lerner wrote, Iran currently requires nuclear power “to replace quickly depleting and earth-polluting energy supplies for [its] rapidly growing … population” but the nation “would move quickly to escalate its nuclear capacities and turn them toward military use” if it felt threatened by Israel and the U.S.