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August 18, 2015

Rabbis Urge Support for Iran Nuclear Treaty, Meanwhile Iran Threatens Inspectors

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Two items reported in the news today provide evidence of the vast chasm separating those who champion the nuclear deal with Iran and those who see the deal as clearing the path for Iran's ascendance to the status of nuclear weapons power and regional hegemon.

The first item is the release of a letter signed by 340 American rabbis urging support for the Iranian nuclear deal. The signators include more than a smattering of fringe radicals. The letter was organized by Ameinu, an organization that bills itself as representing liberal values and a progressive Israel.

Among signators is a strong presence of those whose ideological orientation would be at home at a J Street conclave. There are those who have shown no hesitation cavorting with fringe extremists of Jewish Voice for Peace [JVP], a cultish group that routinely shows up at the most virulent anti-Israel demonstrations and has been described by the ADL as propounding the "complete rejection of Israel."

While among the signators were many rabbis who do not espouse radical agendas, they need to consider the impact of signing a statement that contradicts the overwhelming opinion of Israelis who feel most immediately threatened by Iran and lends respectibility to groups like J Street and Jewish Voice for Peace whose political agenda is hostile to Israel.

There is, for example, Arthur Waskow, who welcomed JVP as part of the "spectrum" of acceptable Jewish groups, telling a friendly interviewer from Tikkun magazine "I sort of feel attracted to its tone and method." Unsurprisingly, the founder of Tikkun magazine, former 60s radical turned rabbi, Michael Lerner, is also a signator.

Some signators have received support from the New Israel Fund [NIF], a controversial organization that has come under severe criticism in Israel for funding the "lawfare" campaign to isolate Israel and criminalize its leaders. NIF funds anti-Zionist groups like Breaking the Silence that travel the world spreading harmful lies about the Jewish State.

The signators also can be found in droves on petitions that come down hard on Israel but are mostly silent on Palestinian hatred and the horrific violence it engenders. For example, many of the names on a petition called "Jewish Solidarity with the People of Gaza," are also found on the Iran Deal letter. The Gaza petition called for unconditional negotiations with Hamas. It says nothing about terrorism or Hamas's responsibility for the plight of Gaza, but remonstrates, "As Jews and people of conscience, we can no longer stand idly by Israel’s collective punishment of the Palestinian people in Gaza."

Undoubtedly, further scrutiny of the 340 signators would reveal much more troubling activity and beliefs out of step with the majority of American Jews.

The second item, provided by Adam Kredo, correspondent for the Washington Free Beacon, reports on a threat issued by the spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization [AEOI] to harm International Atomic Energy Agency Director Yukiya Amano if he reveals the contents of secret side deals between Iran and the agency. It will be interesting to see how, or even if, this explicit threat from an Iranian official is covered by the mainstream media, especially by those organizations supporting the proposed nuclear agreement.

Posted by SS at August 18, 2015 12:20 PM

Comments

By calling these rabbis "radical," aren't you guilty of the editorializing that you accuse others of.

408859

Posted by: Stanley kaplan at August 20, 2015 11:26 AM

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