(JNi.media) It is written in psalms, “The guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.” Likewise, New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, who has described himself as a “guardian of Israel,” is not likely to get much sleep in the next 60 days, as Congress discusses the Iran nuclear deal while opponents will be protesting loudly and lobbying tirelessly to ensure that Congress votes against it.
On Tuesday, a “Stop Iran Now” rally kicked off what is planned to be a 60 day battle for the hearts and minds of legislators to oppose an agreement that would mean an end to sanctions against Iran, in exchange for assurances about limiting its nuclear program. The deal also unfreezes funds for Iran, and critics are concerned that that money could go right into the pockets of Hezbollah and Hamas, which are supported by Iran.
Organizers said there were 12,000 protesters that congregated between 42nd and 38th street, but the police said there were more like 8,000. Speakers included US Representative Allen West, Caroline Glick, Former CIA director James Woolsey, Alan Dershowitz, and former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morganthau.
While Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was booed when her name was mentioned because of her support for the deal, the other name that came up frequently was that of Chuck Schumer, who, as a prominent pro-Israel Democrat, has a key influence on how members of his party may vote. Some were already critical of the senator, and held up signs saying “Schumer not a Shomer (guardian),” expressing disapproval over the fact that he was meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry.
Schumer said in a statement, “I’ve read the agreement and I’m seeking answers to many questions I have. Before I make a decision, I am going to speak at length with experts on both sides … it’s a serious issue, and I’m studying it carefully.”
US Representative West said, “I want President Obama to know one thing: You may say you have done something no one else has ever done. You know why no one else has ever done it? ‘Cause it’s a damn stupid thing you just did!”
Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post said the deal “gives mullahs $150 billion as a signing bonus … that’s real money that you’re putting in the hands of murderers.” Glick then addressed Senator Schumer and other New York legislators: “Unless you have no honor and no shame,” to vote against the deal and persuade others to reject it as well.
Amid chants of “Where is Chuck? Kill this deal,” former CIA director James Woolsey criticized Obama for ignoring the pro-democracy protests in Iran in 2009.
Alan Dershowitz, a Clinton supporter, said, “I’m here opposing this deal as a liberal Democrat.” Dershowitz said the President’s approach in this agreement was undemocratic, since it can be seen as a treaty that requires 2/3 approval in Congress. He was also critical of President Obama’s taking the military option “off the table” and warned that Benjamin Netanyahu might be taking “whatever actions” necessary to stop Iran.
Robert Morgenthau was another prominent Democrat expressing opposition to President Obama’s Iran deal. For 34 years, Morgenthau served as Manattan’s District Attorney, and one of his last cases involved prosecuting banks for laundering money for Iran’s support of terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas. His father, Henry Morgenthau, was Secretary of the Treasury in the FDR Administration.
Joan, Robert Morgenthau’s sister told Martin Ostrow, a filmmaker, “My father’s relationship with the President was … one of the most important things to him in his life, and he didn’t want to push things too far … as a Jew, he felt he needed to be almost extra careful to be sure he was speaking first as an American and only secondly as a Jew … he didn’t want to push it as a Jew.”
Henry Morgenthau approached FDR about reports that the State Department was suppressing information on the mass murder of Jews in Europe, and fortunately, he did not have to stand alone; at that time, in 1944, activists known as the Bergson group were having rallies and placing newspaper ads to raise awareness about atrocities against Europe’s Jews. Morgenthau told FDR that if he did not respond to the growing outcry, he would be seen as indifferent. In response, FDR started the War Refugee Board, which rescued 200,000 refugees in the final 15 months of the war.