No Nukes for Iran
In 2009 New Jersey high school student Danielle Flaum decided she couldn’t stand by and do nothing while Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad developed the capability to wipe Israel off the map and threaten the United States with a nuclear holocaust. So she founded the teen group No Nukes for Iran.
Today the movement has chapters in 26 states on both high school and college campuses, and the groundwork is being laid for chapters in South America, Europe, and Israel.
Danielle, now in college, said Ahmadinejad poses the same type of threat as Adolf Hitler who murdered 6 million Jewish people without nuclear weapons. “Ahmadinejad, armed with the power of nuclear weapons, can definitely be as destructive,” she said.
Danielle started the movement with a few programs and a simple car magnet made available for purchase to raise awareness. At a local event, she met Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren. From that day on, she said, the cause took off.
With guidance from the Israeli embassy, the organization produced banners, buttons, and a website: NoNukesForIran.org. Meetings keep members informed while planning ways to get more people involved in trying to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
A large Jewish newspaper featured No Nukes for Iran in an article that resulted in many people signing a petition on the website. More than 500 buttons were also distributed in Israel.
Danielle believes that crippling Iran’s economy would force the country to halt its nuclear projects and focus on its basic needs. To that end, the group has partnered with United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), which has successfully pressured multinational corporations to stop doing business with Iran. UANI launched a series of campaigns urging New York area venues to refuse to host Ahmadinejad when he addressed the UN General Assembly in May 2010.
No Nukes for Iran members have gone to synagogues, churches, and other organizations; lobbied legislative officials; and participated in press conferences. Danielle has been heard on the radio and has appeared on television.
She even manned a booth at The Jewish Federation of North America General Assembly meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Danielle’s organization also works closely with a group in Israel to distribute the movie Iranium that details the threat America and the world now face. Teens are encouraged to open a local chapter, join an existing chapter, or make a 10- to 15-second video stating their position on Iran for a YouTube video petition that is being prepared, also with the help of the Israel-based group. No Nukes for Iran is also on Facebook.
“We need to care about something bigger than ourselves,” Danielle said. “We must unite and stand up because it’s our future. We want a peaceful world, not terror.”