Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Congress And The Iran Nuclear Deal


Dems And A Changing Jewish Electorate


While about 70 percent of American Jews lean Democrat and 22 percent Republican, there is something that Jewish elected officials like Senators Charles Schumer and Ben Cardin, among others, should bear in mind as they reflect on the Iran nuclear deal: The American Jewish world is changing very fast.

The more secular and doggedly liberal Jews are dying off, falling away from organized Jewish life, or intermarrying (which means their children are no longer Jewish in most cases). Orthodox Jews, by contrast, are thriving, and they have large families.

In New York City, the Orthodox accounted for 33 percent of Jews in 2002, but 40 percent only 10 years later. In 2012, 74 percent of Jewish children in New York were growing up in Orthodox homes. The religious/cultural conservatism of these observant Jews affects their political affiliation. Fifty-seven percent of Orthodox Jews are Republicans, and huge majorities are very concerned about Israel.

They might forgive liberal votes on social issues. But a vote to provide billions of dollars to the paymasters of Hizbullah and Hamas; a vote to permit the Iranian regime to acquire missiles, stealth aircraft, and more with which to kill Americans and Israelis; a vote that, in essence, accepts the eventual nuclearization of Iran without any corresponding concessions from the mullahs?

Do Democrats want to chance it?

Brian J. Goldenfeld
Woodland Hills, CA

Open Letter To Sen. Schumer (I)

Dear Senator Schumer,

Your standing – due to your actions or lack of same regarding the Iran deal – is, in my opinion, diminishing by the day.

Whenever you’re asked for your opinion of the Iran agreement, you state that you must further study what the agreement entails. While this may have been a valid response the first few days after the deal was announced, I don’t believe it holds true now.

My conclusion is that your primary loyalty, in this instance, is to President Obama rather than to the words you repeated when you took your oath of office.

Will you do the correct thing and lead your fellow Democrats in defeating this poorly negotiated agreement?

Are you going to be the independent leader of Senate Democrats or are you going to be a puppet manipulated by President Obama?

How can you even consider voting for an agreement with so many widely cited faults – including, we now know, secret agreements with the IAEA that Secretary Kerry agreed to and that Congress cannot know what they consist of or be a party to?

If you want to be a true leader in the Senate, start now by being one. Your primary loyalty should be to the people of the United States, to the laws and rules governing your office, and only then to the president.

Howard J. Cohn
(Via E-Mail)


Open Letter To Sen. Schumer (II)

Dear Senator Schumer,

I write to you as a New Yorker deeply troubled and worried about the prospect of a deal with Iran.

The desire for peace is powerful, natural, and human. No civilized society wishes to live in an era that is threatened by the savagery of war, especially when the reality of peace seems just within our reach.

I sympathize with President Obama and everyone involved in brokering this agreement, since they view this moment as an opportunity to secure peace, that most elusive and coveted of all values. Nonetheless, I must forcefully and adamantly voice my objection to this deal.

There is a distinction to be made between peace on one hand and security on the other. Peace is the mere cessation of armed conflict, the removal of troops, and the stipulation to settle political differences without immediate utilization of violence. While these objectives are laudable, they are not ends in and of themselves. The object of any nation should not merely be peace but security.

Is the sovereignty of America compromised in the near, medium, and distant future if this deal goes through? Are her citizens at greater risk? Does our nation’s future look brighter as a result? If America’s autonomy is dimmed or her citizens jeopardized, then we may have achieved peace – but at the price of security.

In reality, this deal provides neither objective, because there is no peace without security, and this agreement does nothing to vouchsafe the security of America, her borders, her citizens, or her allies.

This deal coquettishly presents the illusion of peace and the prospect of avoiding a military showdown with a nefarious and intimidating enemy. However, if there is no true security, it cannot be called peace.

I do not need to tell you about Iran’s murderous motivations. How that nation is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world; how it is responsible for the death of hundreds of American citizens; how it has broken every promise it has ever made regarding nuclear weapons; how it has pursued a campaign of belligerence, attack, terror, murder, and war against America and the West; and how it is currently holding four American citizens in captivity without a fair trial – a journalist, a pastor, a Marine, and a retired FBI agent.

The wrong-headedness of giving $150 billion to such a regime should be apparent, when those funds could be more suitably directed to domestic improvement or strengthening our own military. This deal is a grave and serious error that gives a bloodthirsty totalitarian government license to continue a murderous agenda while simultaneously providing it the money to do it. That error is compounded by the extreme likelihood, taught by precedent, that Iran will disregard the terms to which it consented.

I urge you to follow what the president said several years ago: “No deal is better than a bad deal.”

There are only so many times a person can detail the barbarity of his opponent before those accusations become mundane; before the images of death, destruction, and despair fade; before the wounds inflicted, however severe, begin to scab over. And if these descriptions of monstrosities do not devolve into triteness, they become objects of ridicule and of accusations of sensationalism, political jockeying, polarization, or ill will. That is not my objective here.

However, Iran’s objectives are clear and unconcealed; its primary goal is that of every terrorist organization in the world: to bring Western civilization to its knees through a campaign of destabilization, destruction, and mass murder.

Senator Schumer, not only do I ask you to vote against this deal, I ask you to use all your political might and influence to persuade your fellow senators and congressmen to reject it.

You are a principled, tenacious, and dedicated public servant who does not let politics intervene when America’s security is called into question. That has been your track record, and this is what the citizens of New York expect from you. I know I do, at least.

It is within your power, your reach, your grasp, and your will to present the facts in a detailed and reasoned manner to your colleagues in order to ensure that this deal with Iran goes no further.

America will be safer for your efforts.

Rabbi Alec Goldstein
New York, NY


Previous articleNetanyahu: New Budget Puts More Money in Israeli Pockets
Next articleRedeeming Relevance: Parshat Ekev