The Jewish Federation of Chicago has added its voice to the growing opposition to the nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration with Iran. In doing so, joining at least 17 other Jewish groups who have already expressed their opposition to the agreement.
In a statement released Friday after a three-hour meeting, the board of directors said a “majority opinion emerged and was adopted: to call on Congress to oppose the JCPOA as originally submitted, and to ask legislators to work with the Administration to produce better solutions addressing Iran’s nuclear program.”
The board noted that it had met with officials from the Obama administration, Israel, independent experts and members of the Illinois Congressional delegation, in addition to discussing the matter with “many hundreds” of its own community members.
The influential Jewish United Fund / Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, which claims to represent “the diversity of our beloved Chicago Jewish community,” sees an annual revenue of some $100 million. The organization also coordinates the collective policies and programs of 46 constituent Jewish organizations through its support of the Jewish Community Relations Council.
Although President Barack Obama continues to claim that “war” is the only alternative to approving the deal with Iran, those who oppose the agreement don’t see it that way; neither does the Chicago Jewish Federation.
In its statement, the board said Friday: “Iran’s threats to annihilate the US and Israel, its role as the leading state-sponsor of terrorism, its destabilizing of neighboring countries including US allies, its theocratic, anti-democratic regime, its abysmal human rights record, and its Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism must no longer be rationalized or minimized. It is long past time to place Tehran where it belongs on the world’s political map: isolated and ostracized. Hence, no nuclear accord should provide Iran with an unearned ‘express pass’ to international legitimacy.”
The board pledged to continue its past work against a nuclear Iran, which has included the creation of “United Against a Nuclear Iran,” and passage of Iran divestment legislation in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois.
In addition, the board said it would pressure the U.S. government to intensify international efforts against Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism and to upgrade military cooperation with Israel, including the possibility of adding Israel as a member of NATO, among other pledges.