“I’m a millennial; in 15 years when the all-clear sign goes up on Iranian nuclear activity, I and my peers will be the ones in the cross-hairs,” Oliver Rosenberg told the JewishPress.com in a wide-ranging interview. “And Jerry Nadler, on the most consequential vote in a generation, where support for America’s and Israel’s security mattered most, let us all down.”
Rosenberg was on the phone from Washington, D.C., where he is attending the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee policy conference.
Rosenberg has just launched his congressional campaign, seeking to unseat Cong. Jerrold Nadler who has been ensconced as the representative to Congress from New York City’s Upper West Side for decades.
In any other year such a challenge might be laughed off as an impossible dream, but this year, after Nadler sold out his heavily Jewish constituency by knuckling under to President Obama and supporting the Nuclear Iran Deal, the time just may be ripe.
There is a lot about Rosenberg that naturally appeals to residents of the Upper West Side. He is a health care entrepreneur who spent half a decade as an investment banker focused on renewable energy. He’s a Jewish Orthodox day school alumnus, a graduate of Yeshiva University’s business school, the grandson of Holocaust survivors and a fervent lover of Israel who spent a year in yeshiva there and made at-least-yearly visits since he was six years old.
Given the make-up of the community and the strong position taken by nearly all major Jewish and other pro-Israel organizations against the Nuclear Iran Deal, Rosenberg was deeply disappointed that Nadler supported the Iran Deal which contains unacceptable shortcomings.
Rosenberg pointed out the 15 year pathway to Iranian nuclear power, the $150 billion relief in sanctions that can and will be used to support terrorism and the lack of promised anytime, anywhere inspections drew the ire of district residents, including himself, who saw and still see Nadler’s act as a grave betrayal.
While it is true that Nadler has not faced a primary opponent in more than two decades – the political makeup of the district guarantees whoever is the Democratic nominee will be the Representative – Rosenberg sees the time as propitious. “We have entered a new and dangerous chapter in American government,” Rosenberg said, pointing to the inertia of incumbents feel more beholden to those in party leadership than to their own constituents.
Rosenberg sees the current hyper-partisanship of Washington as a disservice to those who elect them to office. He points to Nadler’s history of such extreme partisanship: “efforts to impeach President George W. Bush, attacks on former Mayor Rudy Guiliani, even harsh criticism of the previous mayor, Michael Bloomberg, for investigations into the actions of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
“When it comes to legislation supportive of Israel or other common sense measures, I will reach across the aisle to create bipartisan support,” Rosenberg explained. He hopes such bipartisanship will flourish during the next administration.
“A recent survey showed that more than 70 percent of American Republicans support Israel, and more than 55 percent of American Democrats do. So why isn’t that reflected in how the parties vote?” According to Rosenberg, the elected class is not reflecting the wishes of the people, and that greatly concerns him.
In what ways does Rosenberg want U.S. dealings with Israel to change, should he play a part in shaping American policy towards Israel? For one, he wants U.S. military aid to Israel to double, to $6 billion. “Israel should be able to purchase F-22 stealth jets, which it does not currently have.” Rosenberg also believes Israel should have access to bunker buster bombs.
The neighborhood in which Israel resides has gotten dramatically more dangerous recently, and a huge factor adding greatly to that danger is the Nuclear Iran Deal.