A crowd of about 400 concerned citizens demonstrated outside the Aventura office of Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on August 31. Americans for a Safe Israel, Zionist Organization of America, Veterans Against the Deal, StandWithUs, Young Israel of Hollywood, Young Israel of Aventura, Israeli American Council, and the Republican Party of Miami-Dade County endorsed the event.
The day was sweltering, but the crowd stood fast. Concern etched their faces. They were young and old, Jew and gentile, Democrat and Republican. One mission united them: telling Wasserman Schultz and Congress to vote no on the impending Iranian nuclear deal.
Rabbi Shalom Lipskar, spiritual leader of The Shul of Bal Harbour, introduced the event with stirring words of Torah. Media consultant and former TV news producer Robert Weneck, addressed the crowd. He showed a photo taken in 1966 of him and Harry Truman. Weneck said he had thanked the former president for his part in the creation of the state of Israel and wondered aloud about what Truman would think of the situation today.
Veterans Against the Deal was represented by Afghanistan war veteran Brian Mast and Sgt. Robert Bartlet. Both men were severely injured in their service. They attended the rally to encourage the congresswoman and her Democratic colleagues to stand up against the Iranian nuclear deal. Sgt. Bartlett, who was hit by an Iranian bomb stated, “Every politician involved with this [deal] will be held accountable. They will have blood on their hands.”
Sharona Whisler, executive director of the Florida region of the Zionist Organization of America, and Dr. Martin Karp, who worked to organize the event, closed out the protest with heartfelt thoughts addressed to the congresswoman.
“The message is clear,” said Whistler. “The polls speak for themselves. If Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants to properly represent her constituents and the rest of the American people, the only thing to do is to come out against the deal as soon as possible and encourage her colleagues to do the same. This deal means more terrorism and then war.”
Karp said, “I implore you to take a strong and immediate stand against the Iran deal and to use all of your influence to ensure that it does not pass. It is a bad deal for the U.S.A. It is a bad deal for Israel. It is a bad deal for the world with the exception of Iran and terrorist factions that stand to gain from it both militarily and financially. If you wait any longer to decide, your vote at the final call will have no impact; however, a decision today against it would spell defeat for the deal.”