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October 6, 2015 / 23 Tishri, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Chuck Schumer’

NYers Fighting Nuclear Iran Deal Gather on Sept. 1

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

The grass roots organizations which brought you the thousands-strong Stop Iran Now! rally in Times Square in July is calling on New York area residents to join them for a slightly different kind of event against the Nuclear Iran Deal.

“The first time we came out in huge numbers that electrified people across the country. That rally was for those who wanted to understand the Agreement, who needed to learn more about the deal itself,” Jeff Wiesenfeld, the master of ceremonies and one of the founding members of the Jewish Rapid Response Coalition told the JewishPress.com.

“The Sept. 1 event is to energize people and get them to inform their elected representatives that they oppose the Agreement and will remember in November how their representatives voted in September,” Wiesenfeld explained.

This event is taking place in front of the New York City offices of the two U.S. Senators who represent New York, Senator Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, beginning at 5:30 p.m., in front of 780 Third Avenue, at the corner of 49th Street.

Earlier today it was announced that the Sept. 1 rally will be a bipartisan one. Addressing those gathered will be former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a current candidate for president. The two will deliver a major foreign policy address, one that emphasizes the bipartisan responsibility to protect the United States and our allies from the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran, and that the current deal will not prevent that danger.

“The organizers of the initial rally always planned on having a follow-up rally in order to maintain the momentum of the critical message that this catastrophic deal cannot stand,” emphasized Lauri Regan, the New York chair of EMET, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank which deals with the Middle East, and a central organizer of the two events.

“Once Senator Gillibrand came out in favor of what she ironically labelled ‘the imperfect deal,’ it became clear that our focus would turn from asking Senator Schumer to do the right thing to thanking him and telling Gillibrand that New Yorkers will not stand while she surrenders American national security to a mullahcracy with a foreign policy based on ‘Death to America.’

Another one of the organizers, Rabbi Elchanon Poupko, told the JewishPress.com that “Shortly after the [July] rally Chuck Schumer came out opposing the deal.”

Poupko described the thousands of people who came to that first event, and that it sent shock waves throughout the world. “It was reported from Asia to South America!” Poupko and his colleagues hope to send the strongest possible message to Washington to ‘Stop Iran Now!’ As the vote on the deal is approaching, “We hope many more will join us in making that call.”

The July 22 event focused heavily on Schumer who was in a difficult position politically – so many of his constituents and long-time supporters were urging him to vote his conscience and oppose the deal. The administration was pressuring all Democrats in Congress, but especially someone so visible and senior as Schumer, to be a team player and throw his weight behind the Agreement.

The junior Senator from New York, Gillibrand, has since come out in support of the deal, and she will be the heavy focus of attention on Sept. 1.

“As a Senator of New York which suffered the greatest terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Ms. Gillibrand must oppose this deal,” said Hillary Barr, the founder of Mothers Against Terrorism and a core organizer of the two NYC Anti-Nuclear Iran Deal events this summer.

“This Iran deal puts the U.S. and its armed forces in grave danger,” Barr said.

Key Democratic Senators Cardin and Mikulski Still on the Fence on Iran

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

Two Democratic U.S. senators from Maryland – Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski – remain undecided about the agreement. Cardin is the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Congress is in the midst of a 60-day period to review the Obama administration-brokered Iran nuclear deal.

While it is expected that virtually all 54 Republicans in the Senate will vote against the Iran deal, 67 anti-deal votes are needed to override President Barack Obama’s veto of a possible Congressional rejection of the pact. The only two Senate Democrats who have publicly come out against the agreement so far are Sens. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Robert Menendez (N.J.).

Asked where Cardin stands on the nuclear deal, and whether or not his decision will be affected by the recent report that the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog made a side agreement with Iran that allows the Islamic Republic to carry out its own inspections at the Parchin nuclear site, Cardin spokesperson Sue Walitsky said the senator told JNS:

[He] continues to review all aspects of the agreement to determine what decision he’ll make.

He continues to study the details of this deal, reach out to experts for answers to his many questions, and engage Marylanders to get their thoughts.

There is great intensity on all sides of this issue, but the feedback has been decidedly mixed. He believes that each senator and member of Congress has to make his or her own decision based on what is right for our country—not party, not president, but the national security of the United States of America.

He does not plan to rush his decision based on what others may decide.

When contacted by JNS.org, Mikulski’s office said the senator is currently traveling and unable to return a request for comment.

Rep Nadler Getting Pushback by 2 Jewish Pols over Iran Deal

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

(JNi.media) On Friday, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) issued a statement saying he would vote in favor of President Obama’s proposed Iran deal.

“I bring to my analysis [of the agreement] the full weight of my responsibilities as a member of Congress, and my perspective as an American Jew who is both a Democrat and a strong supporter of Israel,” Nadler stated, noting: “I have sought to ignore the political pressures, as well as the demagoguery and hateful rhetoric on both sides that I think has been harmful to the overall political discourse.”

In a less analytical but much more colorful fashion, Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-NY) told the Observer he had rented a double decker tour bus, covered it with images of the Ayatollah Ali Khameini, and left it for a few hours outside Nadler’s lower Manhattan office. Hikind told the Observer that next he is taking the bus on visits to other pro-Iran deal representatives.

Councilman David Greenfield criticized Nadler on Facebook. “I join my fellow Brooklynites in outrage that Congressman Jerry Nadler has announced his support of the Iran deal against the overwhelming wishes of his Jewish constituency… We are furious that our community does not have a voice in Congress and can not forgive him.”

Nadler offered an analysis of the Iran deal that’s easily as exhaustive as the one offered by Senator Chuck Schumer in early August. Despite the fact that he reached the opposite conclusion, Nadler is respectful of the opponents of the deal, suggesting “the only decision that matters at this moment is whether to support or reject the agreement that is on the table now, not whether we could or should have gotten a better deal.”

Nadler also deals realistically with the consequences of an override of the anticipated presidential veto of what is certain to be a rejection of the deal by both Republican-controlled houses. He writes:

“Iran might accept the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) without U.S. participation. In that case, the other countries might go along. In 6–9 months, all the non-U.S. sanctions would be lifted. Iran would resume doing business with most other countries, and would get its $56 billion, some of which would be used to sponsor terrorism and other illicit activities.”

Frustrating as such an outcome is to pro-Israel American Jews, Nadler is not wrong in his assessment. And while the White House may be to blame for this outcome, it does not change the finality of these consequences. Nadler also argues that, should the president be forced by Congress to drop the Iran agreement, “there would be less diligent oversight, less fear of punitive action against violations, and Iran would enjoy full legitimacy and inclusion from the international community. Meanwhile, the United States — Israel’s closest ally and the only partner on the Security Council or in the P5+1 whose interests are as closely aligned in terms of preventing Iran from becoming an existential threat — would sit on the sidelines, separated from the JCPOA.”

US Senator Chuck Schumer: American Sanctions Can Stand Alone

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has come back swinging after liberal groups egged on by the White House have attacked his integrity and financial base in an effort to discredit his decision to oppose the nuclear deal with Iran.

The MoveOn.org advocacy organization has mobilized its thousands of members to withdraw financial support for Schumer, who is positioned to become to leading Democrat in the next Senate.

That move came immediately following Schumer’s announcement that he would vote against IranDeal, after days of reviewing the data and maintaining silence on the matter.

Finally, when the senator made his decision, he pointed out there were other ways to deal with Iran.

“Let’s not forget, those secondary sanctions are very powerful,” Schumer told a news conference in New York during his announcement last week. “We have that powerful tool and if used, I think that’s a better, better chance in a very difficult world than an agreement that is so totally flawed.”

Sanctions aimed at international firms who do business with Iran can force European allies and trade partners back to the negotiating table, says Schumer. And such sanctions will hurt Iran.

Sanctions aimed at corporations such as the French oil firm Total, for instance, would send the message that if it chooses to deal with Iran, it will not be able to do business with the United States, he said.

Asked if he would try to convinced his fellow senators to vote with him against the deal, Schumer said yes, but added that “anyone who thinks you can force somebody to vote with you in the Senate doesn’t understand the Senate.” He added bluntly, “This is a vote of conscience.”

MoveOn Members Yank Support From Schumer Over IranDeal

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

The U.S. debate over IranDeal is beginning to get dirty.

Less than 24 hours after Democratic U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York announced he would oppose IranDeal, the MoveOn advocacy organization released a statement saying it would withhold major campaign support from the senior senator.

MoveOn communications director, Nick Berning was quoted by The Huffington Post as saying, “We want to demonstrate to those who haven’t made their decision yet that there will be substantial political consequences for those who want to take us to war.”

Schumer announced last Thursday night he will oppose President Barack Obama’s deal with Iran over its nuclear development activities.

“After deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote ‘yes’ on a motion of disapproval,” Schumer said. “While I will certainly share my view and try to persuade [other colleagues] that the vote to disapprove is the right one, in my experience with matters of conscience and great consequence like this, each member ultimately comes to their own conclusion,” he added.

The bottom line, he said, was this: “Are we better off with the agreement or without it?”

The answer, he said, was that after 10 years, “If Iran is the same nation as it is today, we will be worse off with this agreement than without it.”

The senator, considered the most influential Jewish voice in Congress, explained that he was concerned that after ten years, Iran will still be free to build a nuclear weapon.

Schumer drew instant praise from Agudath Israel of America for his action, however. “Senator Schumer has spoken out consistently and forcefully over the past several years about the grave threat a nuclear empowered Iran would pose to America and its allies, especially Israel,” the group said in a statement issued Friday morning.

The senator was also “courageous.” in stepping out on a limb to make his decision, Agudath Israel noted. “He is the first and thus far the only Senator of his political party to publicly announce that he will be voting against the position of the Administration.

“His high rank among his Democratic Senate colleagues surely created an incentive for him not to buck the leadership of his party. Fortunately, however, as he said in the statement he issued in announcing his intention to vote to disapprove the JCPOA, Senator Schumer made his decision “solely based on the merits … without regard to pressure, politics or party.” For this he deserves our sincere admiration and deep appreciation.”

Obama needs 34 votes in the Senate in order to sustain a veto he has vowed to advance to override the legislation if the motion of disapproval is passed.

NY’s Senator Schumer and Cong. Engel Will Vote Against the Iran Nuclear Deal

Friday, August 7th, 2015

If there was one member of Congress upon whom all eyes came to rest to see which way he would vote on the Nuclear Iran Deal, it was New York’s senior senator Chuck Schumer.

Schumer, a Democrat who all understand is in line for a leadership role in the Senate, was watched closely for many reasons: He is Jewish, he represents New York State, he is a senior senator, and being pro-Israel has always been a badge he proudly wore.

Still, many of those watching Schumer have been seeing him through jaundiced eyes. No matter which way he decided, he would greatly disappoint supporters who have enormous control over his political future. Would he risk angering the leadership of his party and the man at the top of his ticket? Or would he vote to support the Nuclear Iran agreement and anger many of his constituents?

Those with practiced eyes concluded that Schumer would split his decision, first voting against the agreement in the initial round, but then either not voting to override the veto if the vote was close, or voting to override, but only if the count was such that the veto could not be overridden, not matter how he voted.

But the reasoning Schumer provided in his statement announcing his decision may lock him into voting for the same outcome, both times.

Schumer broke the agreement down into three different categories: the restrictions on Iran in the first ten years of the agreement; the restrictions on Iran after ten years; and the non-nuclear components and consequences of the deal. As his guide for which way to vote, he asked himself whether we are better off with this agreement or better off without it.

The senator explained that he sees various weaknesses during the ten year lifespan of the agreement, such as insufficient inspections access, including the need to obtain a majority of the other parties to agree to an inspection, and a cumbersome snapback mechanism. Schumer said that while there were problems with this portion of the agreement, it was possible to decide either way.

During the period following the sunset clause of the agreement, however, Iran would be stronger financially and “better able to advance a robust nuclear program.” Even more importantly, at the end of the agreement and with Iran as a threshold nuclear state, it would also enjoy the blessing of the world community. In other words, its leap into nuclear weapons capability would be sanctioned by the leadership of the world’s leading nations.

Schumer concluded that we would definitely be better off without the deal than with it, given the scenario at the conclusion of the JCPOA.

Finally, the non-nuclear aspects of the deal gave Schumer the most pause. In his opinion, the infusion of billions of dollars into Iran in the wake of sanctions relief could lead to catastrophic consequences. Unless one believes that Iran will moderate and cease its support for terror across the region, the lack of restrictions on how the money will be used was a fatal flaw.

if one feels that Iranian leaders will not moderate and their unstated but very real goal is to get relief from the onerous sanctions, while still retaining their nuclear ambitions and their ability to increase belligerent activities in the Middle East and elsewhere, then one should conclude that it would be better not to approve this agreement.

Schumer does not believe that Iran is about to moderate or that it will become more moderate during the course of the agreement.

Therefore, I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power. Better to keep U.S. sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations, and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be.

Schumer’s decision became public just hours after the junior senator from New York, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, also a Democrat, announced that she will support the agreement.

New York Congressman Eliot Engel (NY-D-16) also announced on Thursday evening that he would oppose the JCPOA.  The reasons he gave were similar to Senator Schumer’s: the limitations on inspections capability, the influx of massive amounts of money in the wake of sanctions relief and the lifting of bans on intercontinental ballistic missiles and advanced conventional weapons.

Engel is the senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Chuck Schumer Explodes as 60 Jewish leaders Look On

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

(JNi.media) Sen. Charles Schumer was meeting with some 60 Jewish American leaders in Washington DC last week, when he couldn’t take the pressure any more, and by pressure we mean the voices of Jews everywhere telling him to vote with the Republicans, against President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal.

One source told The NY Post that Schumer, who is about as even tempered as they come most days, “exploded” in the meeting.

On his Monday press conference in his Midtown office, which included his distant cousin, comic actress Amy Schumer, the Senator said he would discuss gun control, or anything else, really, just not how he would vote on the Iran nuclear deal.

“This is such an important decision that I will not let pressure, politics or party influence [me],” Schumer said.

Schumer has received an estimated 10,000 phone calls to his office over the past two weeks, most of them from opponents of the Iran agreement.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/chuck-schumer-explodes-as-60-jewish-leaders-look-on/2015/08/05/

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