Tuesday, July 17th | 5 Av 5778

August 11, 2015 7:00 am

Why Some American Jews Are Lobbying for the Iran Deal

avatar by Benyamin Korn

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Iran's Arak Heavy Water reactor. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Iran’s Arak Heavy Water reactor. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Isn’t it remarkable how much of the fight over the Iran deal is a battle between different factions in the Jewish world?

First off, one would think it would be an argument primarily over whether the agreement endangers America, not Israel. After all – as Prime Minister Netanyahu reminded us in his webcast this week – Iran still regards America as “the Great Satan.” Israel is just “the little Satan.” Sure, Iranian protesters add an occasional “Death to Israel” to their chants, but it is “Death to America” that is heard loudest and longest.

Yet on Capitol Hill, the question that seems to be occupying everyone’s mind is: how will Jewish Congressmembers vote? And on the op-ed pages and the radio talk shows, we hear mostly about AIPAC vs. J Street, and pundits speculate as to whether other Jewish organizations will support or oppose the Iran deal.

In Israel, both the governing Likud coalition and the Labor Party (“Zionist Union”) opposition movement are against the agreement. In the United States, the latest polls show the majority of American Jews oppose it. None of that seems to matter to J Street and others on the Jewish far left, who are spending millions of dollars in search of public and congressional support for the Iran agreement.

Think about it: Israeli Jews, from left to right, oppose the agreement because they recognize that it will put nuclear weapons in the hands of the Iranian theocracy, and it will strengthen Iran’s proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas. Yet a well-funded fringe faction of American Jews is aggressively supporting the agreement. Their actions could pave the way for more rockets to hit Tel Aviv – and that’s just for starters. What motivates such Jews to take steps that will endanger the lives of their fellow-Jews?

A convincing answer is to be found in the remarkable new book, Jews Against Themselves, by Edward Alexander, just published by Transaction Books. Alexander, a professor emeritus at the University of Washington, is a combat veteran of the intra-Jewish quarrels of the past several decades, and he is one of the most skilled. In this, perhaps the most important of his many books, Professor Alexander takes on the painfully relevant topic of what he calls “the new forms taken by Jewish apostasy.”

Classic Jewish apostasy consisted of converting to Christianity or Islam, usually in order to avoid being persecuted. The modern version stems from essentially the same motive, but takes on peculiar forms. Nowadays, Jewish apostasy involves proudly brandishing one’s Jewish identity or associations in order to legitimize actions that undermine Israel – in order to avoid being blamed for unpopular Israeli actions.

There is the author and pundit Peter Beinart, whose promotion of a boycott of “settlers” is, in fact, an extension of the 65 year-old Arab economic boycott of Israel, Alexander argues: “The ‘selective’ boycott requires boycotting feta cheese coming from cows in Judea but not companies–such as have been punished by the U.S. Treasury Department–that procure military equipment used by Hezbollah to murder Jews in Nahariya and Acco.”

There are the Jewish faculty members at the Berkeley campus of the University of California who have built a cottage industry on denying that there is anti-Semitism on their campus, on other campuses, or practically anywhere else. Although Prof. Judith Butler, a leader of this group, grudgingly concedes that “those who do violence to synagogues” may be classified as anti-Semitic, she will not use that word to characterize violence against “synagogues and seders in Israel,” Alexander points out. Good grief!

There is the peripatetic Michael Lerner and his magazine Tikkun, still passionately lobbying against Israel, more than two decades after his fifteen minutes of fame as then-First Lady’s Hillary Clinton’s short-lived moral guru. (Clinton’s “Jewish Rasputin” is more like it, Alexander writes, recalling the pernicious role of the Russian Czar’s senior adviser.)

And there are the obnoxious Jewish left-wing activists who invoke their dead grandmothers as weapons in the war against Israel, claiming that if Grandma were still alive,”she would be right there with me protesting against Israeli apartheid,” as one recently wrote. Alexander comments: “Jewish mothers, one notices, rarely receive these accolades from their Israel-hating daughters; often still alive, mothers constitute too great a risk.”

Jewish supporters of the Iran deal can’t possibly think that the agreement itself makes America or Israel safer. They are driven by something else – by a desire to find favor with the current occupant of the White House, the news media, and the academic and intellectual elites whom they admire. It’s disturbing, and in some ways hard to understand. Jews Against Themselves sheds much-needed light on the subject and deserves to be on everyone’s “must reading” list.

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  • Salomon

    Maybe because the present day american leftists (aka liberal) are part of that generation that want to keep or revive the ideology of their ancestors that came from Russia and Poland, Bolchevism, Marxism, Anarchism, Antizionism,… It´s worth to confer of the quantity of Jews that were affiliated to the American Communist Party…

  • Robert Weintraub

    Israel could help itself in dealing with organizations like J Street by barring is members from Israel

  • We must be careful with the Jewish apostate,
    they changed the way of truth into error.

    Whatever is done they are often supported by those who hate Israel as Yeshua’s chosen Jewish State.

  • S. Norman Lurie

    The entire issue revolving around Iran has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. The US is pushing for an Iran nuclear deal for one reason only: The United States’ real enemy is Russia and with an Iranian deal it would be so Iran can flood the world market with their cheap oil. This would directly cripple the Russian economy which relies heavily on the export of their oil. If we had to fight another war the US military would rather fight Iranians than Russians. The Russians have proven themselves a threat to the world with their annexation policies which is merely a land grab. The last time there was a land grab was when Iraq invaded Kuwait and the world responded militarily. There was no military response to Russia’s land grab because they are a formidable military power.

    • Allan Phillips


      You are 100% correct. Unfortunately the liberal drivebys refuse to listen to the conservative correct view.
      The liberal media reinforces their unrealistic socialist view.

    • Salomon

      Russia, why now an enemy? I believe the Russians fear the West and don´t want to see NATO forces at their doorstep (Ukraine), as like the US have been quite dreadful with the installation of missiles in Cuba, in 1962… To consider Russia an existential danger to the US more than Muslim world, and especially Iran is quite nonsense or even stupid. The first attack on American soil by an Middle Easterner was perpetrated in 1968, Sirhan Bichara Sirhan is the Jordanian that killed Robert Kennedy, although he was not Muslim… However since then the US have been attacked a lot of times by Muslims; should not forget the 1982 attack (perpetrated by the Hizbollah, Iran proxy ) that killed more that 240 marines

    • HaroldT38

      The stupidity of your argument is unbelievable. You would cure a migraine by decapitation!

  • Yale

    The real reason some American Jews are working so hard for this deal is to avoid hvaing to admit they made a profound error in voting for Obama in the first place.

  • Start by creating a list of all Israel-bashing Jews.

    Anyone whose name is on that list should be denied burial in Jewish cemeteries, and should also be rejected for employment by: synagogues, Jewish charities, and Jewish community centers.

    All Israel-bashing Jews should also be rejected when they apply for help from the Jewish community.

    Last but not least, they should be disinherited by all their relatives.

    Tell this to the Israel-bashing Jews:

    b>Cornelius Tacticus, the famous Jew-hating Roman historian who lived from year 56 CE (approximately) to year 120 CE said:

    “Much of Judea is thickly studded with villages, and the Jews have towns as well.
    Their capital is Jerusalem. Here stood their Temple with its boundless riches.”

    The Western World (page 141) by Pearson Custom Publishing, year 2009 CE

    The Histories by Tacitus, The Jews (Book 5), paragraph 8 of 13.

    {1} Muslims are LYING when they deny that Jews trace their historical origins to the Land of Israel.

    {2} Muslims are LYING when they deny that Jerusalem is the historical capital of the Jewish state.

    {3} Muslims are LYING when they deny that the Jewish Temple existed in Jerusalem.

    {4} Notice that Tacticus mentioned Judea, NOT Palestine.

    {5} Tacticus never mentioned the Palestinian people, even though he wrote much about Jews and their land, because there were no Palestinian people in his time.

  • Professor Alexander has given us a magnificently written classic. It should be read by everyone. It is both timeless and timely, as we listen to daily reports of our President deploying Jew hating stereotypes to advance his agenda. One point that may be different about contemporary American Jewry: it’s recent collective IQ has been declining at least a point a year, as evidenced by the moronic ‘arguments’ of wordsmith pundits like Beinart.


    • frank


  • sidney Sands

    In the UK we also have a Jewish cadre who denigrate Israel, foremost is Gerald Kaufman, whose vitriol drip from his lips when he speaks in Parliament. That the White House is promoting anti Semitisim is a sad situation, but T G the vast majority of Jews all over the world support Israel, we always had quisling Jews through out history, long may Israel try and live in peace.

  • Fred

    You can’t please anybody who hates you , nor curry favours. Obama / Kerry could not have made more plainer to the Jews & Israel ,that they do not care about the consequences after they have gone. I pity American Jews who have a short memory and do not listen to the Mullah who use the same Hitler speeches with promises of destruction of Israel. Israel was never consulted nor were the Chehoslovkien people but Chamberlain waved a paper shouting “Peace in our Time” now Obama waves a paper “No Nukes on my Watch but after I am gone.” Who cares for the rest ????

  • Jack Klein

    Self hating Jews have always been around, because they are blinded from where the came from, and cannot appreciate that they are special.

    They will never be appreciated by other religions, because they are like “Quick Silver” that keeps no form, and have no pride
    to support their Origin. They are simply trouble makers, without
    a real cause.

    They are “Drek” that drifts along, the bottom of a pit. They have no pride.

  • marta mikey frid

    You do not answer the question as to WHY these so-called Jews spend so much effort and energy in demonizing Israel. A strange habit from journalists in the abuse of the word WHY. Perhaps if you were to try to analyze their motives, they might have no way out from their malevolence.

  • Francis Figliola

    Being an anti-Jew Jew (i.e. opposed to obvious Israeli security necessity) is beyond my comprehension, given recent and past history! There is no logic to any assumption that an agreement signed by this theocratic state with Christian co-signers will be respected by the Iranian Islamic terrorist regime!

  • nelson marans

    When virulent anti-Semitism rears its head again, as it appears to be the case, the anti-Israel almost anti-Semitic clan of pseudo-Jews may be also threatened in an ironic twist of justice. May their names be inscribed in the hall of infamy along with our president and John Kerry and his denied Jewish roots.

  • Mike Schwarzer

    Glad to see this is not a Jewish issue, it’s a Zionist issue.

    The US has lost it’s political integrity when they can be manipulated by a foreign power. I knew there is a huge problem with Israel spy’s in the US but this ‘No’ vote will show us the infiltration. If you want to restore US Political integrity, the ‘No’ need to be ejected. Why?

    Either they are in the pocket of the Israeli lobby.
    Confused as to which government the serve.
    Or lack the intelligence to understand the deal.

    Not congressional or presidential material for sure. This is the perfect issue since ‘No’ has nothing to do with the merits of the deal which stand up very well to independent scrutiny.

    I’m not sure what the Zionist agenda is, but I suspect the ultra rich want the projected war profits and probably to control Iran’s central bank as well. The are using their right wing puppets to position for war. Remember Bush and Iraq’s WMD. Now we have Benny and Iran’s WMD.

    A dirty trick to fill everyone’s head with fear when there is no reason for it.

    • zadimel

      Since Zionism is defined as the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, to write that it is not a Jewish issue is complete nonsense. Who is doing the “manipulating?” Pollard has spent more time in confinement for spying for Israel than most people convicted of murder! Pss…don’t tell anyone: We spy on Israel and most other countries. Oh, I see your version of reality indicates that members of Congress are confused, lack intelligence or in… the…pocket…of…the…Jewish lobby. You certainly do not think much of our senators and representatives. Oh, psss: the reason for the JEWISH STATE’s concern about its security rests solely on Iran’s constant pronouncements of that nation’s objective to destroy the Jewish State and all Jews! You ought to take a laxative, because you so full of Schitt’s Creek!

    • Yale

      >>This is the perfect issue since ‘No’ has nothing to do with the merits of the deal which stand up very well to independent scrutiny.

      Obviously you haven’t read the “deal”. Paragraph 26 gives Iran the right to withdraw from the restrictions the “deal” imposes if, at its sole discretion, it decides the other parties are in violation. That means if the US doesn’t send the Air Force (USAF) against an Israeli Air Force (IAF) attack on an Iranian shipment of nuclear material or other WMD to Hezbollah, for purposes of attacking Israeli civilians, the Iranians can deem the US in non-compliance and withdraw.

      People like you like to claim the US is being controlled by Israel, but this “deal” actually puts the US under the thumb of Iran.

      A person who actually is intelligent would recognize that this isn’t in the interests of the American people, and oppose the “deal” on that basis.

      One last thought: If Obama was so certain this “deal” was good, why has he worked so hard to stifle a serious debate about it?

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    Beinart is more (or less depending on how you see it) than a mere boycott the Jews activist. He’s a self admitted antisemite and Israel hater who’s views are no different from those of Hamas or Iran.

  • g

    i concur with you Korn. its the worst mistake to make in this era of the Age when the whole world as it were has become JEW-HATERS for reasons you cannot tell. Am a gentile and it amazes me that even after Jews witnessed the destruction of the first and second temples that took place and they know it, that the course of that destruction was due to their disagreements, hatred and misunderstanding amongst themselves, they like any other nation on earth HAVE NOT LEARNT A THING OR TWO. Even today, the jostling and disagreements we witness in the Knesset, the acrimony and throwing off on each other, the behavior we are witnessing in the settlements, Jews calling other Jews ‘occupiers’, and the list goes on and on, is a sign that they have not yet learnt. The adage that “Jews agree only in times of Crisis” is a delusion of the devil to make them not ever be one, even as our Messiah Yeshua ordered them to be one- we saw it during elections how they could easily be influenced by outside powers and forget who they are. Who is america? who is Russia to a Jew? Let him not trust in any man from anywhere in this world! Let a Jew trust in His Hashem ONLY. who will they hear?

    • Tone Lechtzier

      AMEN, absolutely true… from a Jew.

    • hatred of the Jews because the devil hates God’s chosen people, the devil do a variety of ways, first make Israel lapsed, making a false book, legislation false, makes people against the state or country