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May 30, 2016 / 22 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘ADL’

ADL: European Nations Failing to Combat Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

A new report jointly released by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League and Human Rights First says member states in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are not living up to their commitments to fight anti-Semitic hate crimes.

The “Scorecard on Hate Crime Response in the OSCE Region” notes hate crimes continue to go unreported in the participating member nations — which include the United States.

In addition, those nations also consistently fall short on their commitments to combat hate crime, the report notes.

Both Human Rights First and ADL have developed recommendations for the United States to aid its European allies in combating the rise of anti-Semitic and extremist violence, specifically in France, Germany, and Hungary.

“There has been a rise in anti-Semitic hate crime,” in some OSCE countries, the report notes, adding the trend “can be traced to both incitement from neo-fascist groups and the growth of violent Islamist extremist groups.

“Anti-Semitism is a virulent thread that runs through the ideologies of many extremist groups, even though their world views converge on little else.”

The report analyzes data submitted by countries to the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

However, the report provides a partial picture because many countries either do not collect such data or fail to transmit their findings to the ODIHR on a timely basis, the ADL notes.

OSCE member states need to make reporting a higher priority, given the current refugee crisis, the rise of far-right parties and movements espousing hatred, and the increase in hate crimes, the ADL said in its statement to media.

Only 36 of the 57 participating States submitted information to the ODIHR for 2014. Half of participating states either did not report at all or reported zero crimes for their country. “This is simply not acceptable or credible,” the ADL said.

In Austria, anti-Semitism is at its highest levels in years, according to data analyzed by the local Forum Against Anti-Semitism.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz reacted to that news, published this week, by saying “Jewish life must be protected in Austria” and said it was the government’s responsibility. But he offered no concrete plan to address the problem, nor aid to the Jewish community so that it might seek private security to protect itself.

In the UK, a Muslim candidate in the race for mayor of London spoke on April 6 about the rampant anti-Semitism among members of his party. Sadiq Khan said that he knows what it is to suffer “hate crime,” and “unacceptable in 2016 that there is anti-Semitism in the Labour party.” He vowed to remedy the situation, saying “If it means members of my party, senior members … being trained about what anti-Semitism is, then so be it.”

Just four days later, (April 10), two young Orthodox Jewish teens were verbally attacked by a man shouting “Kill the Jews!” and other anti-Semitic epithets at them and yelling “Allahu Akbar!” (God is Great! in Arabic) in the northern London Jewish neighborhood of Stamford Hill. The man then went on to approach other Jews in the same manner, until police arrived and arrested him.

In New York, the City University of New York (CUNY) has responded to a series of anti-Semitic incidents on its campuses by asking for recommendations from outside counsel, setting up a “working group” and also a “task force.”

There has been no concrete action taken against the perpetrators nor has a formal action plan involving police been implemented to protect Jewish students on campus.

In Ukraine, more than 100 Jews fled the country and immigrated to Israel this past February due to violence and frequent anti-Semitic attacks. They were assisted by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ). One of those who arrived in Israel told reporters he had switched schools three times as a child because of his ethnicity and recalled that his father could not go to university because he had a Jewish surname.

Hana Levi Julian

Catholic Students Taunt Newton Fans ‘You Killed Jesus!’

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

It started with the kids from Newton, Massachusetts who chanted “Where are your girls?” to fans of the Catholic Memorial School basketball team, which came from an all-boys’ school.

The Catholic team was playing against the team from Newton North High School, and fans of the “away” team came back with their own taunt.

“You killed Jesus! You killed Jesus!”

The anti-Semitic chant came just 24 hours after Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley called for Catholics and Jews to build a “civilization of love” together in a speech at Newton’s Temple Emanuel.

The Cardinal was invited to speak to mark the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, a proclamation from Pope Paul VI in 1965 that stated the Jews did not bear collective responsibility for the death of Jesus, and which repudiated anti-Semitism.

It is a seminal event about which the students of Catholic Memorial High School would have been expected to learn, if not to mark with their own events in the classrooms.

And yet, “You killed Jesus!” rang forth from the stands not 24 hours later.

Anti-Semitism in the community is still fresh in the minds of residents after the third incident in less than a year took place at the F.A. Day Middle School earlier in the month. “Burn the Jews” was scrawled on the wall of the boys’ bathroom in the school, as it had been last October. In January, a swastika was discovered imprinted in the snow just off school grounds.

Many of the students from Newton are Jewish. The chant was entirely unexpected and shocking, according to the Boston Globe.

The Newton North basketball team was warming up at the time and so did not hear what was happening; they only found out when parents informed their children after the game.

Newton North High students in the stands, however, were silent and angry. So were their shaken parents who grimly confronted school superintendent David Fleishman when he arrived a few minutes later.

Fleishman told the Globe he found the incident “chilling” and in his mind, “incredibly upsetting and troubling.” He added that “they have a lot of work to do at Catholic Memorial.” But also on his agenda will be the Newton students’ use of language about male anatomy and their own offensive behavior.

Wisely, he called the Anti-Defamation League about the incident and planned to discuss the experience with the students at school on Monday. In response, New England regional director Robert Trestan expressed the agency’s interest in working with “both schools to make sure this doesn’t become a lost opportunity. This incident is a reminder that we still have a lot of work to do, and we need to do it together.”

The Archdiocese also said in a statement on Saturday the chant was “unacceptable” and the incident an opportunity for “an important learning experience” for the students. “We stand ready to assist Catholic Memorial in providing the student body with the awareness education that is needed to ensure that there is no recurrence of these actions or attitudes,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, Catholic Memorial President Peter F. Folan said in a statement Saturday, “Catholic Memorial School is deeply disturbed the behavior of a group of student spectators who made an unacceptable chant Friday night while playing Newton North High School. Catholic Memorial School believes deeply that intolerance, of any kind, is unacceptable. We apologize for the actions of our students and we will continue to strenuously address this issue within our community.”

However, a Newton resident who was present at the game told the Globe on condition of anonymity that the chant sounded pre-planned. The resident said Catholic Memorial administrators and parents who were at the game did not hurry to try and halt the chanting. The president could have cleared the stands or made an announcement condemning the slur because the game had not yet started, the resident pointed out – but he chose not to.

Hana Levi Julian

Memo to Trump: ADL Info on Hate Groups Coming All Candidates

Monday, February 29th, 2016

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump set off more than a firestorm when he claimed to have “no knowledge about” the Ku Klux Klan and its former leader, David Duke.

He also spurred the New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to spring into action with its own campaign to provide informatio to every presidential candidate (including Trump) on hate groups and other extremists.

The trigger for this brouhaha began with last week’s expression of support for “The Donald” by former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard Dr. David Duke.

Trump disavowed the support on Friday, but in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, seemed to forget the entire affair and also disavowed any knowledge at all about David Duke or the KKK – a stumble that raised a firestorm.

“David Duke is a notorious anti-Semite and racist and his name is synonymous with bigotry,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO. “Duke is a perennial candidate for elected office and perhaps America’s best known racist and anti-Semite. He is a former Imperial Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. His message is racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-American to its very core, and he’s clearly exploiting Mr. Trump’s candidacy to get publicity for himself and his hateful ideas.”

ADL’s Center on Extremism monitors and exposes extremists and hate groups.

The group said it is providing for the public at large, including the Trump campaign, information about extremists “so that all candidates can be fully aware of these individuals and have a more complete picture when determining whose endorsements they should accept or reject.”

Greenblatt said the ADL hopes it can prevent white supremacists from using the campaign to “mainstream their bigotry.

“It is imperative for elected leaders and political candidates like Mr. Trump and others in the public eye to disavow haters such as Duke and the other white supremacists who have endorsed his candidacy. By not disavowing their racism and hatred, Trump gives them and their views a degree of legitimacy. Even if it is unintentional on his part, he allows them to feel that they are reaching mainstream America with their message of intolerance.”

Hana Levi Julian

Trump Tripped Up But Not Trapped by KKK ‘Shout Out’

Monday, February 29th, 2016

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump walked straight into a mine field Sunday when he told CNN’s State of the Union interviewer that he didn’t “know anything about” former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke.

“Voting for these people, voting against Donald Trump at this point, is really treason to your heritage,” Duke had said last week on the David Duke Radio Program.

The New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) immediately called on Trump to condemn Duke and the KKK. (The organization also followed up its demand by launching a campaign to educate all the candidates about extremism and hate groups.)

CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Trump whether he was prepared to condemn Duke and the KKK, as the ADL had asked him to do.

Duke meanwhile had also posted a long post supporting Trump on his Facebook page a few days earlier, together with denials of any current connection with the KKK and self-congratulatory, anti-Semitic harangues about being “the most well-known American who reveals the facts of the Jewish tribalist takeover of our media.”

Trump seemed to be caught unawares, and did a backstep.

“Honestly, I don’t know David Duke. I don’t believe I’ve ever met him. I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet him. And I just don’t know anything about him,” Trump replied. “Just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK?” he said. “I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.”

But after the interview, Trump recalled he had already disavowed Duke and his former racist colleagues at a news conference last Friday – a fact he tweeted after the program.

It’s not even the first time he has done so; Trump also had disavowed Duke in February 2000, according to Politico.

Trump was asked about Duke by reporters at that time and said then that he disavowed him. He responded to a withering storm of criticism following Sunday’s show by sharing a clip of his answer on Twitter.

The exchange precedes Super Tuesday, during which a dozen states, most of which are in the South, are set to go to the polls for primary elections.

Trump meanwhile has picked up two key endorsements, including one from a major player in the South.

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions endorsed Donald Trump on Sunday at a rally held in his home state of Alabama, saying, “This is not a campaign, this is a movement.” Sessions is the first Senator to endorse Trump.

But he has also already received endorsements over the weekend from Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Paul LePage of Maine, and former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.

The growing swell of support could be a sign that Republican Party leaders are starting to accept that Trump will likely be their nominee.

“I can guarantee you that the one person that Hillary and Bill Clinton do not want to see on that stage come next September is Donald Trump,” Christie said during his endorsement on Friday.

“They do not know the play book with Donald Trump because… he is rewriting the play book of American politics. He is providing strong leadership that is not dependent upon the status quo.”

Christie said he would lend his support to help Trump from now until the election and then after as well. The remark gives rise to speculation that perhaps he and Trump have discussed a position for Christie in a future Trump administration.

Hana Levi Julian

Analysis: ADL ‘Disturbed’ by Video Depicting Left-Wing NGOs as Foreign Agents, But Aren’t They?

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

(JNi.media) The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Wednesday said it is “deeply disturbed by a video produced by the Israel-based organization Im Tirtzu, which labels leading Israeli human rights activists as ‘foreign moles’ operated by foreign governments.” Not dealing with the right-wing group’s accusation, the ADL condemns its “employing fear tactics to suppress left-leaning Israeli NGOs,” labeling the video “a form of incitement which crosses the line into hate speech.”

The video produced by Im Tirtzu (the name is derived from Herzl’s famous saying, “If you want it, it won’t remain a fable,” which became the unofficial slogan of political Zionism), titled “Foreign Agents revealed,” is about as harsh as an average negative ad in an average American election, and resembles one in its aesthetics. It depicts four members of left-wing Israeli NGOs that rely on foreign countries and organizations—many of which are hostile to Israel—for their funding.

MK Yoav Kish (Likud) is currently sponsoring a bill called the “Plants Law,” based on research showing several left-wing organizations as plants of foreign countries, promoting an anti-Israel agenda. The bill requires these NGOs to report on their activities, and prohibits any unauthorized collaboration with them on the part of the government and the army. Each request for such collaboration must receive a one-time special permission from the Justice Minister. The bill recommends a fine of $25,000 on foreign agent NGOs that fail to comply.

The video argues, in extremely dramatic fashion, that the recent Arab campaign of stabbing, rock and Molotov cocktail throwing and ramming by car of innocent Israeli civilians, is receiving aid and comfort from these NGOs, who defend passionately the civil rights of the attackers. (Only yesterday, one such NGO, Physicians for Human Rights, was successful in getting the Israeli Medical Association to change its rules on terrorist scene triage, commanding doctors to treat Arab murderers and their Jewish victims as equals—and PHR receives upwards of $2 million annually from foreign sources, according to NGO Monitor.)

Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO, and Carole Nuriel, acting Director of ADL’s Israel Office, insisted that “Im Tirzu’s highly disturbing video employs fear tactics to accuse Israeli human rights activists and organizations of being culpable in the ongoing wave of Palestinian terrorism. This is a form of incitement which clearly crosses over into hate speech.” They argued that “Whether one agrees or disagrees with the mission and work of the nongovernmental organizations singled out in the video, accusing them of supporting Palestinian terror in order to delegitimize their activities is outrageous and potentially libelous.”

The problem is that these organizations mentioned in the video do support and legitimize Palestinian terrorism. And they’re doing it with funding from anti-Israeli foreign sources.

The Public Committee Against Torture is responsible for a libelous anti-Israel campaign alleging that Israeli authorities place Palestinian “prisoners in iron cages (including children),” and maintain ongoing “torture-related policies and practices against Palestinian prisoners and detainees.” PCAT co-authored a 2011 report, “Doctoring the Evidence, Abandoning the Victim,” together with Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, claiming to “reveal… significant evidence arousing the suspicion that many doctors ignore the complaints of their patients; that they allow Israel Security Agency interrogators to use torture; approve the use of forbidden interrogation methods and the ill-treatment of helpless detainees; and conceal information, thereby allowing total impunity for the tortures.” The report utilizes unreliable sources, including “testimonies” from individuals convicted or suspected of security offenses and terrorism; presents inconsistent recommendations; erases the context of terrorism in the actions of security forces; and does not provide a lexical, legal, or consistent definition for the key terms “torture” and “ill-treatment.”

PCAT donors include: EU, Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Dignity (Denmark), Germany, Cordaid (Netherlands), ICCO (Netherlands), Kvinna till Kvina (Sweden), UNDP and others. They net about half a million dollar annually from foreign sources.

JNi.Media

Obama and Biden Running after the Jews to Back ‘ObamaDeal’

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

President Barack Obama is beginning to sweat over diminishing Jewish support for the deal with Iran, especially among Congressmen.

He and Vice-president Joe Biden are shifting into high gear to convince Jews to persuade their Representatives and Senators to vote for “ObamaDeal.”

Several Jewish senators already are in the “no” camp and key Jewish Sen. Ben Cardin on the fence, and a continuing drop of support for the deal in the polls is turning the Jews into the best friends Obama ever had.

Biden is scheduled to meet with American Jewish leaders in Florida next week in an event whose organizers include Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who heads the Democratic National Committee. She has not yet announced whether she will vote for or against the deal.

President Obama is scheduled to connect with Jews with a webcast Friday. Although it is long-shot that the Senate or the House of Representatives can come up with a veto-proof majority against the deal, the  president is not taking any chances.

The webcast will be viewed through the site of the Jewish Federations of North America..More than a dozen local Federations have come out against the agreement with Iran, and approximately 100 or more have been non-committal.

The webcast is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. tomorrow, and pre-registration is available here.

The organization, in a carefully worded and neutral statement, wrote on its website:

We are hopeful that diplomatic efforts will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and we appreciate the hard work President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, and Under Secretary of State Sherman have put into crafting this agreement.

At the same time, we are concerned. Iran’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas, its human rights violations and its aggressive threats toward neighboring countries—including Israel—make the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran untenable.

President Barack Obama and his administration have repeatedly said that any deal with Iran must shut down Iran’s uranium enrichment pathway to a weapon, cut off all four of Iran’s potential pathways to a bomb, and track Iran’s nuclear activities with unprecedented transparency and robust inspections throughout its nuclear supply chain. We agree.

We urge Congress to give this accord its utmost scrutiny.

The Federations earlier this month provided Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with a platform to speak out against the deal.

The  Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which is a co-sponsor of Friday’s webcast, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) have announced their opposition to ObamaDeal.

J Street supports it.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Guess What Each of the US Jewish Organizations Are Saying About the Iran Deal

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

We know the Iran deal is bad. How bad it is is we all may be spending the rest of our lives finding out. That is, unless enough members of Congress are able to inject sufficient spine-strengthening and -straightening serum to override President Barack Obama’s already promised veto of any effort to derail the deal.

So let’s take a stroll through the playground of American Jewish organizations and see what they have to say about the proposed deal which allows many of the things American leaders swore would not be permitted and forbids many of the things that were promised would be included.

First, let’s lay out the general parameters of the deal, as they are currently understood, based on analyses of the 159 page document.

According to the Iranians themselves, the deal blesses Iran’s “peaceful” nuclear programs and will lift sanctions from Iran through a new UN Security Council resolution. It allows all of Iran’s nuclear installations and sites to continue, none of them will be dismantled. Plus, research and development on key and advanced centrifuges will continue.

There will be no “anywhere, anytime” inspections. Instead, there will be a mechanism in place that will ensure that at least 24 days elapses before inspectors can visit any facility which Iran decides it doesn’t want visited.

And although the U.S. administration and its representatives repeatedly insisted that the nuclear program deal would have no impact on any other sanctions imposed against Iran, guess what? It does.

The P5+1 have agreed to lift the arms embargo against Iran within five years, and the embargo on missile sales will be lifted within eight years. Of course, the unfreezing of between $100 and 150 billion is perhaps the most frightening immediate effect of the deal. As with the nuclear and military sites, there will be no transparency to ensure that the money does not get funneled into Iran’s other favorite activity: financing global terrorism, especially murderous terrorism directed at Israel.

Most of the major Jewish organizations either blasted the agreement with Iran or punted, assuming a wait and see stance. However, one “pro-Israel, pro-peace” outfit was thrilled with the deal. More on that in the body of the article.

Here they are, summaries of the statements on the Iran deal issued by American Jewish organizations.In alphabetical order.

The Anti-Defamation League unhappy

Usually known for a more even-keeled approach to most administration ventures, the ADL is highly critical of the Iran deal. The ADL leadership said they were “deeply disappointed by the terms of the final deal with Iran” which “seems to fall far short of the President’s objective of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear weapon state.” The ADL leadership praised the administration’s negotiators for sticking to it for so long and for appearing to put off Iran’s ability to become a nuclear state in the short term, but it fails to prevent it for the long term.

The ADL further blasted the “front-end loaded infusion of billions of dollars in sanctions relief [which] will finance Iran’s ongoing global campaign of terror against Israel and other U.S. allies, and be used to further exert its influence across the Middle East, thereby harming U.S. interests.”

While stopping short of calling on Congress to do its best to derail the job, the ADL leadership took the time to urge those debating the matter to do so in a civil and respectful manner.  Some jaded commentators might wonder whether such admonishments are ladled out when the plan of someone considered to be right wing is under attack.

Americans for a Safe Israel angry

Not surprisingly, the small, New York-based, staunchly Zionist organization AFSI is unalterably opposed to the Iran deal. As Helen Freedman, AFSI’s long-time executive director wrote regarding the deal crafted by Obama and Kerry, “there was never any doubt in our minds that this deceitful duo would cross all the red lines and give Iran everything it demands-  and more. Our ‘leaders’ even made it difficult for Congress to do anything to Stop Iran by insisting this is not a treaty, only a ‘deal.’ Only those who applaud the naked emperor will celebrate this travesty.”

American Israel Public Affairs Committee worried

AIPAC’s deep affinity for diplomacy and close connections with the administration as well as members of Congress puts the organization in a bit of a bind. Its statement reflects that dilemma. AIPAC had previously outlined several requirements any deal with Iran had to meet. Those included:”anywhere, anytime” inspections – that ain’t happening; sanctions relief should only come after Iran satisfies all its commitments – nope; any deal had to prevent Iran from the ability to acquire nuclear weapons for decades – not that either; and Iran had to dismantle its nuclear infrastructure – nope again.

“We are deeply concerned based on initial reports that this proposed agreement may not meet these requirements, and thereby would fail to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon and would further entrench and empower the leading state sponsor of terror.” Deeply concerned? Even the President’s talking points make clear that AIPAC’s red lines have not been met.

AIPAC, as did several of the other organizations, signaled that it would continue to review the deal and issue updates on its position.

American Jewish Committee worried

The AJC spent the first third of its statement praising the administration’s negotiators and leadership for its attempt to reach an accord. AJC’s executive director David Harris then called on Congress to ” thoroughly review, debate, and, ultimately, vote it up or down.” Towards the end of the statement, Harris finally gets around to venturing an opinion about the deal. He said that the nuclear deal does not appear to address certain “extremely troubling aspects of Iranian behavior.” He then lists out five different concerns of the AJC regarding the deal, including its reign of terror in the Middle East and its Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program (which cannot have a peaceful purpose), and its systematic repression of human rights.

But rather than urging its members to take any particular action, the AJC director concludes his statement by noting that however “Congress decides to vote on the nuclear deal,” Harris concluded, “the need for vigilance regarding Iran will not for a single moment be diminished.”

Endowment for Middle East Truth angry

EMET expressed “profound disappointment” that the deal with Iran is “more deplorable than we had even anticipated. Of particular concern to EMET is that the “Administration has caved on almost every one of its initial criteria. It also pointed out that the Iranian Ayatollah maintained all of his red lines, even those which are contrary to UN resolutions.”

Sarah Stern, the president and founder of EMET said, “we all understand and appreciate that Americans are not eager for armed conflict, but willfully blinding ourselves to the reality of a bad deal does not prevent war.” EMET blasted the deal as a “diplomatic disaster of historic proportions.”

The Israel Project unhappy

TIP’s president, Josh Block, said of the deal with Iran that it “is a realization of the deepest fears and the most dire predictions of skeptics who have, for two years, been warning against exactly this outcome – a bad deal that enriches this tyrannical regime and fails to strip Iran of nuclear weapons capability.” TIP unequivocally called on Congress to reject “this bad deal.” The Israel Project has been providing nearly daily, and extremely detailed, updates and analyses of the negotiations for many months, and is considered extremely knowledgeable regarding both the process and the details of the agreement as it has evolved.

J Street  happy

J Street founder and president Jeremy Ben-Ami once described his nascent organization as “President Obama’s blocking back.” It apparently still sees itself that way. While hedging its bets a tiny bit by calling the deal “complex and multi-faceted,” J Street takes President Obama at his word and concludes that the deal “appears to meet the critical criteria around which a consensus of non-proliferation experts has formed for a deal that verifiably blocks each of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon.” Tellingly, the statement does not mention what those criteria are.

Every other organization that praised the negotiators did so for their efforts. Not J Street. J Street congratulated them for bringing the negotiations “to a successful conclusion.”

J Street mentioned the upcoming review of the deal by Congress, but sent its own thinly-veiled threat: Congress should be “mindful of the likely consequences of its rejection: a collapse of diplomacy and international sanctions as Iran pushes forward with a nuclear program unimpeded.”

In other words, unless Congress approves the deal, or fails to override the promised veto, J Street is telling its followers that the alternative will be an Iran with nuclear weapons. You can bet that is how they will couch their calls to supporters in the upcoming congressional review period.

Jewish Federations of North America hmmmm

The parent organization of the Jewish Federations and JCRCs was careful to thank the negotiators for their efforts and to express its support for diplomacy, but clearly signaled its discomfort with the way the deal has shaped up, given Iran’s terrorist history. The JFNA statement expresses its concern: “Iran’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas, its human rights violations and its aggressive threats toward neighboring countries – including Israel – make the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran untenable.”

But the JFNA resorted to mouthing the assurances that President Obama has been making – even while the facts regarding them have been changing – for nearly the entire period of the negotiations. The JFNA concluded its statement by urging Congress to give the accord its “utmost scrutiny.”

National Jewish Democratic Council can't talk

Perhaps not surprisingly, the NJDC takes absolutely no position on the content of the deal and does not state one word about it. Instead, the statement issued by the NJDC focuses on the process of deliberations going forward and the need “to take partisan politics completely out of this situation.” In fact, it preemptively takes those who oppose this deal to task for turning the Iran deal into a “wedge issue” which divides Jews. It appears the NJDC did not take the temperature of its erstwhile center and center-left Jewish organizational playmates, as virtually every one of them, and they all contain large numbers of Democrats, are highly critical of the deal.

Republican Jewish Coalition angry

The RJC called the agreement “a bad deal” because “it is not enforceable, verifiable or in America’s national security interest.” The group called on Congress to stop the deal or “the world will be less safe as the United States will remove sanctions on Iran, and in return, Iran will still pursue nuclear weapons.” The RJC called on all members of Congress to reject the deal.

Simon Wiesenthal Center worried

The Wiesenthal Center’s leadership said they are “deeply worried” about the deal which they said “confirms Iran as a threshold nuclear power” and that “will end economic sanctions against the Mullahocracy.” The SWC called on Congress to review the document carefully and to vote against it if it is as dangerous as it appears to be.

World Jewish Congress hmmmm

The president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder, expressed strong skepticism about the Iran deal. He also mentioned the hard work of the negotiators but repeatedly stated that Tehran has a long history of misleading the world and that there is no reason to trust Iran over the implementation of the deal.

“I fear we may have entered into an agreement that revives the Iranian economy but which fails to stop this regime from developing nuclear weapons in the long terms, which would have disastrous consequences for the entire region and the world.” The WJC urged the international community to stand ready to reimplement sanctions immediately if Iran fails to meet its obligations under the agreement.

Zionist Organization of America angry

No surprises from the ZOA leadership on this issue. If they didn’t use a thesaurus to find every word that means bad to describe this deal, it is only because they have been using those words to describe this deal that way since its infancy.

The ZOA is “deeply horrified, but not surprised by the truly terrible nuclear agreement,” the statement begins. In a highly detailed recitation of how and why the deal is so bad, long-time ZOA president Mork Klein said that the nuclear agreement “is quite simply a catastrophe and a nightmare. It leaves the world standing at an abyss.”

In addition to decrying the lack of spontaneous inspections, the huge boatloads of cash to spend on its terrorist activities and subordinates and the egregiously antagonistic behavior of the Iranian leadership even over the past few days, Klein made another point.

“Two years ago, the Iranian economy was collapsing under the weight of sanctions. President Obama could have intensified pressure and international resolve to compel Iran to relinquish its nuclear program. He never even tried. Instead, he preemptively relieved the pressure on Iran by easing sanctions which enabled Iran to withstand every demand. As a result, we now stand on the precipice of an era of nuclear terror.”

The ZOA, as did several other organizations, urged Americans to call their elected federal representatives through the Capitol Hill Switchboard (202-224-3121) and urge them to oppose the nuclear deal.

****

While there are two outliers, it turns out the Iran deal is so bad that nearly every major American Jewish organization is, at minimum, extremely concerned about it. That’s quite a feat.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

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