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July 26, 2015 5:30 pm

Sharansky Calls on US Jews to Stand Up to White House Over Iran Nuclear Deal

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Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky called on Jews to stand up to the White House in opposition of the nuclear deal. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky called on Jews in the United States to stand up to the White House in opposition of the recently announced nuclear deal with Iran. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Jews in America should take a stand against the White House and oppose the nuclear deal recently agreed between world powers and Iran, famed Soviet dissident and now Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said on Friday in an op-ed for The Washington Post.

“Those of us who believe that the nuclear agreement just signed between world powers and Iran is dangerously misguided are now compelled to criticize Israel’s best friend and ally, the government of the United States,” Sharansky said.

Sharansky acknowledged that standing up against the White House in support of “what we think is right” for both Jews and the world, puts American Jewry at odds with the “power best able to protect us and promote stability.” Nevertheless, he said Jews must even risk giving the impression “that we somehow prefer war” rather than join those who believe “peace is on the horizon.”

The human rights activist noted that the U.S. Jewish community similarly stood up to the White House 40 years ago in a historic move that helped secure freedom for Soviet Jews at the time.

In the early 1970s, Democratic Sen. Henry Jackson of Washington spearheaded an initiative to condition the removal of sanctions against the Soviet Union on the allowance of free emigration for its citizens, including Jews. By that time, tens of thousands of Soviet Jews had requested permission to leave for Israel, according to Sharansky.

While President Nixon’s Republican administration furiously objected to the policy, American Jewish organizations actively supported it, though they were conflicted about taking the stance.

Sharansky said, “They were reluctant to speak out against the U.S. government and appear to put the ‘narrow’ Jewish interest above the cause of peace. Yet they also realized that the freedom of all Soviet Jews was at stake, and they actively supported the policy of linkage” between detente with the Soviet Union and its treatment of its own citizens.

Republican senator Jacob Javits, who was “spurred by a sense of responsibility for the Jewish future,” helped put together a bipartisan group that ensured passage of the law.

“By conditioning this assistance on the opening of the USSR’s gates, the United States would not only help free millions of Soviet Jews as well as hundreds of millions of others but also pave the way for the regime’s eventual collapse.”

Sharansky called on Jews once again to actively oppose the White House like they did 40 years ago.

“Today, an American president has once again sought to achieve stability by removing sanctions against a brutal dictatorship without demanding that the latter change its behavior,” he said. “Of course, we are reluctant to criticize our ally and to so vigorously oppose an agreement that purports to promote peace. But we know that we are again at a historic crossroads, and that the United States can either appease a criminal regime… or stand firm in demanding change in its behavior.”

“A critical question is,” he concluded, “who, if anyone, will have the vision and courage to be the next Sens. Jackson and Javits.”

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  • Paul Caplan

    Surely Israel has the people and the technology to take out the Iranian nuclear sites. Surely they have the submarines and cruise missiles that could nuke these places. So instead of bleating about it, why don’t they just do it?

    Every time Israel does anything bold and decisive they become heroes throughout the Western world. The way to bring Obama to his knees is to blow his half-witted deal with Iran sky high.

    American conservatives would be beside themselves with glee, and many Arab countries would heave a sigh of relief..

  • nat

    America is still a democracy and your representatives in Congress must hear your voices. It is critical that you contact your US Senators and Representatives urging them to vote NO on the Iran nuclear arms agreement if you have not already done so.

  • walter77777

    USA is not alone in making this agreement with Iran. USA is one of six signatories to the agreement with Iran. The arrangment has a very subtle iron fist behind it. If Iran breaks the agreement , makes and sets off a nuclear device it is assured that various countries will want to get leveraged payback taking out Tehran and a few other Iranian cities.

    We might want to learn some of the history of USA’s involvement in Iran during the past sixty-five years or so. We might want to remember that USA engineered the overthrow of Mossadegh in 1953 because he was too friendly to Russia, and we might also remember that USA brought the Iranians the Shah who brought Iran a rule of terror until he was overthrown by the Ayatollahs.

    We might try understanding why so many Iranians are angry at USA.

  • NuritG

    Dear Mr. Sharansky,

    Till the Berlin Wall fell down in 1989, united in their cause to help free their brethren, American Jews did all they could to see the Russian Jews get out of the claws of USSR gulag ropes. You were one of those Jews from Russia. Going back further, forty years ago in the USA your call for Jews in America to take a stand against the White House and oppose the nuclear deal recently agreed between world powers and Iran, was part of their – and many others – baseball, hotdogs, and apple pie American ethos.
    Alarmingly, and you need to take notice of such, things have since changed in the United States. A crypto-Moslem is now nearing his 7th year residence in the White House and a vast number of Jews helped to put him there – TWICE – including some who claim to love Israel and show such support with huge donations that aim to help the Jewish State.
    More so, even now when Obama’s undoing of the relations between the United States and Israel are crystal clear, too many of these unJewish Jews, still keep their blinders on.
    Israel desperately needs a backup plan for Iran – based on a view of the world as it really exists – and less dependability of what Jews in America will or will not do. When the head of the ADL is leaning toward niceness with Iran, all bets are off.
    Your message to the government of Israel that you serve must be clear: Prepare for the worst. Prepare to face the Iran’s genocidal threat – which is no breaking news – without the sustenance you expect from the USA “progressive-liberal” Jewish community. In all likelihood, your energy spent on making Jews in America take a stand maybe wasted on useful idiots in the coming battle.

  • Israelis are fast losing interest in American Jews…They know how fast Amrican Jews are disappearing due to assimilation and fear of having duel loyalties.

  • Joann krohn

    I have signed and sent congress to vote no deal.
    I want to understand why most Jewish organizations objected to the statement of Importance to Israel is like the holocaust put Israel in the oven. Maybe he meant that as a wake up call to the congress to vote no deal.

  • zadimel

    Where are the other eleven comments?

  • zadimel

    What happened to the other ten comments?

  • Larry Andrews

    In his very recent interview with Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, President Obama said this. “The truth of the matter is that Iran will be and SHOULD be a regional
    power.” This agreement will eventually allow the Islamic Republic of Iran to develop nuclear weapons. At that time, the Islamic Republic of Iran will become a very formidable regional power, and President Obama will get exactly what he wants!!

  • Michael

    that’s legitimate. However, in addition I recommend that “US Jews” call on Sheransky to stand up to the Israeli Government, on a variety of issues starting from actual religious freedom and equality in Israel for all Jews (and yes, gentiles to) and not just Orthodox Jews.
    quid pro quo JAFI, quid pro quo
    Seriously US Jews – lets have a chat here:
    the vast majority of you, at least the vast majority of the active, influential and giving-a-damn you, is not the Hassidic, Haredi, Orthodox communities. No, the YOU, JAFI is talking to, for the most part altogether is Conservatives, Reforms, seculars, half Jewish households and so on. And you guys have been used to it for many a year now… once in a while the state of Israel (through one or other of it’s official organs or representatives) calls upon you for a favor, you know “coz we’re mishpucha, where else can we go? common fizzy bubbalach.”
    It can be anything form asking for some spare change or “say a good word for us with your government” to begging you guys to come for a visit, at least for a few years in which you might as well go serve in the IDF, or “just stay here forever, it IS your homeland.”
    Well US Jews, lI’ll let y’all in on a little secret, Israel actually needs you more than you need it – I know it’s inconceivable! so guys it’s time to remember that you to have your Jewish values, and your ideals, that you have family there that might need something a bit different than what Israel tells you they want.
    It’s time you leverage your position appropriately and next time the good ole Jewish Homeland calls for a favor you stand up for your own Judaism and say:
    uh oh… you want that good word with the media, well I have a sister that wants to pray at the wailing wall wearing her kippa and teffilin without getting arrested! (and I mean you Sara Silverman ).
    you need that check for that public project near Jerusalem? well I want it to be open to EVERYONE all the time, no segregation and no limitations.
    You want me to immigrate and serve? well, first make sure I can get married there with the love of my life. with a Rabbi (or Rabbiness) of my OWN denomination, legally.
    Say, without fear or guilt (I know i know):
    “Israel, we love ya, we really care. But this can’t be a one sided relationship, you want the money of our Reform and Conservative congregations? you want our kids to come there? you want our Senate and Congress influence? give some love back. recognize our Judaism officially in Israel, make Conservative and Reform Judaism legal forms of Judaism in Israel. Give our rabbis the same respect, and authority and powers as ultra-orthodox sectorial rabbis. then we can talk again.”
    And don’t even get me started on gay rights in Israel and pink-washing

    • Barry

      Nice argument Michael. I understand the situation now. If Israel isn’t perfect, we (Americans and Jews) should not support Israel. Takes”moral equivalence ” up a couple notches. Thanks for the clarification .

    • Michael Mann

      That has nothing to do with the issue at hand — or maybe you can convince John Kerry to negotiate your religious issues with Israel; except, he doesn’t really care. Don’t confuse domestic politics with international relations.
      Obama and Kerry compromised every term they explained they would bargain for, obtaining a “nowhere, nohow” inspections regimen and caving at the last minute on removal of sanctions on conventional arms.
      Obama has mistakenly defined American interests in terms of an alliance with Iran in support of Iranian hegemony. Even he admits its a risk but Israel — and the region — cannot afford risks like these.
      Without having to denounce Obama for any perceived prejudices, he is sorely mistaken and must be resisted without introducing petty themes of Israel’s domestic politics.
      In the end,

    • Elizabeth Wajnberg

      How about demanding that THIS government protect your sister’s reproductive rights in all states, institute non-profit universal health care, free education, reinstate a democracy sold to the highest bidder, outlaw guns, free itself of iTS theocratic half, and apply its supposed checks and balances on a President’s deluded narcissistic schemes?

  • Michael Burkert

    It’s sad, but most American Jews have been deluded into thinking that 0bama and his Liberal Socialist Party have Israel’s interests at heart. They don’t. Yet most American Jews think that the Liberal Socialists are their friends. They are not! Most American Jews are blind to the reality that Conservative Republicans and not the Liberal Socialist Democrats, are Israel’s best hope for survival and prosperity. I hope that Senator Chuck U Schumer, will oppose the Iranian sellout agreement but doubt that he will. Like most American Jews, Schumer is a Socialist first, and a Jew second. I hope I am wrong, but I believe that Schumer will vote his Ideology above and beyond what’s best for Jews and Israel. Why wouldn’t he? He rarely votes for issues that are good for American, so why would he support an issue or oppose an issue that is favorable to Israel?

    • Henry

      I totally agree shumer cannot be trusted to the right thing………..political selfishness

  • Novellian

    This Sharansky should have stayed in Russia!
    How dare he suggest to bite the hand that feeds him! The one and only ally, who has stood by Israel through its generous support in everyway possible, be it at the UN and/or through Billions of our our Tax Payer Dollars every year, while the majority of the Americans hold their noses in doing so, and wondering out lout why everybody dislikes Jews. As a Jewish American and an American tax payer, I can’t see how That tiny Israel and its criminal government leaders can dictate and influence our American policies, while alienating millions of Americans against us. You want to go to war with Iran? Go ahead! Do it on your own Arrogant way and don’t make us pay for it. Do not interfere and manipulate our government through us the American Jewish community, with the likes of Edelson and few other billionaires, not to mention the stupid Evangelical sharlatans, while calling us your closest ally. Having your flag infused with our American flag in font of every temple or Jewish institutions doesn’t really help. It only gets you more resentments. Don’t get us involved like you have in the past, to do your dirty works (Irak, Syria and now Iran, to mention the ones we know of)!!! Some one sided ally! Spy on us, take our money, buy our every politicians in the senate and congress while laughing at us. And no, I’m not a self hating Jew either!

    • sander poritzky

      You remind me of the Jews of Nazi Germany who thought by diassociating themselves from the rest of world Jews they would not be affected.They found out that they were no different then any other Jews as they went together into the gas chambers.The U.S. in order to protect it’s interests in the Mid-East and knows it must support it’s only reliable friend.Now if you voted for Pres.Barack Hussein Obama who has shown himself to be of your views I say SHAME ON YOU for deserting the Jewish men,women and children of the Jewish State,you have shown yourself to be one of those self hating Jews and instead of being proud of a people who have given sciece that has saved many lives,made life better for millions has the most moral army in the world, speak hatred.I will pray for you that in time you will became educated and understand what it means to be born a Jew.

      • lovezion

        Excellently said Sander!!! How incredible the arrogance of these renegade traitor jews who so desperately want to pass as goiem, go to the extent of writing these nazi sounding comments! Now that we have a very similar situation as in the 1930s/40s in nazi germany, I can see for the first time how it must’ve happened there: the very renegade jews caused the rest of them to go to the ovens.

        Of course, the islamist situation is even worse than the german one since now we have OUR OWN PATRIA to defend, which the renegade jews promptly grabbed to call it “occupier”, “oppressor” and so on AND who are collaborating with obama who’s on the side of the murderous, cutthroat islamists.

        I say to those renegade filthy jewish traitors: just as it happened in nazi germany where the renegade jews went into the ovens after all, so it will happen in this era. Watch it! You’ll be first to burn and suffer!!!


      • Michael Fox

        Finally, amongst all the blah, blah, blah in this post, a few voices of reason comes out of the wilderness.

        Israel, and the Jews who live there stand on the front line against a sea of Jew haters who want to see them dead and their country wiped off the map. The German Jews cowered in front of their Nazi masters while the rest of the world turned away and went about their everyday business. “Never again” say the brave and strong Jews of Israel.

        Shut up whimpy,apologetic self-loathing Jews. Israel has enough enemies without counting you as one of them. Israeli’s on the left and the right politically who rarely agree on anything, are united in their belief that this deal with Iran is a disaster for the Middle East with global implications and a major capitulation to evil.

    • Jessi

      You are a moron. This deal is offensive to any Jew with a brain. This deal endangers the US and Israel. It jeopardizes our children’s future. I do not care were he was born. He is 100% correct in his opposition to this rediculous deal.

    • Henry

      pathetic…………typical US Jews cop out and criticism of Israel surrounded by hostile Arab countries fighting for survival since 1948

    • Miri

      You are not polite, Israel-hating Jew. Please do not call Evangelical “stupid Evangelical charlatans”. Just want to remind you that during the Second World War American Jews failed to help Jews in Europe… See any parallels?

  • OSWALD dsouza

    Dear sir, thank u for call the jews to speak and stand against this n deal, prez Obama cannot be trusted, his islamic and maxist idealogy are foolish, the coporations and the central bankers include the Fed reserve members are behind this. this is a prez who was brought to white house, by corporate media, he cannot even prove his birth in hawai, which is fake, the govt and senate and the congressmen have done nothing to impeach him, it show in their system of corruption works.
    well i am christian , i believe in the book of jeremiah chapt 1v 10, it says ” see this day i have set thee over the nations to uproot, to pull down and to destroy and to throw down, to plant to build”.
    of course i pray on this verse, it will happen.
    Well i ask the jewish people to ask Jesus Christ personally if he is the messiah or cannot. Pl see how he answers u will be surprised of what good he is already provided for u. u will be amazed and wonderstruck of his provision he has made for u all.
    if u choose to believe him after he answer question as to who he is.
    Regarding iran , read jeremiah 49v35 onwards, god of israel says” i will destory the bow of Elam the chief of their strength, i will cause their to be dispered across all the nations of the world”.
    This prophecy has not been fulfilled , it may be now.
    Do not fear god of israel say ” He does slumber nor sleep”
    u are the apple of his eye.
    thank you, the lord god of israel bless u with blessing of abraham israel and jacob
    oswald india

  • Mickey Oberman

    Too many American Jews do not want to stand up to Obama.

    They want to sit down with him at phony, disrespectful Pesach seders.

    Then they can say they “dined with the President.”

    Whoopee! Yeehaa!

  • Michael Nightingale

    I am absolutely certain that Iran would never be the first to use a nuclear weapon: if it did it would be wiped out. Their anti-Israeli rhetoric is partly designed to keep the people quiet; a ploy that most dictators use. Moreover, both Hamas and Iran almost certainly want a regime change in Israel; not its physical destruction. I hope this might re-assure any Israeli worried about the deal with Iran.

    • Mickey Oberman

      I prefer to play it safe and take Iran’s leaders at their often repeated words of annihilation of Israel and all Jewry.

      I just wonder if today’s American Jews have the courage shown by their fathers and grandfathers.

    • lovezion

      OH POLEASE!!! What kind of childishness is this??? You mean they spent all that money, time, energy in finding ways to more torture and murder of Jews and Americans, plus all that monumental work in the nuclear facilities, etc. to just not attack??? They won’t use their “precious” powerful gigantic nuclear machinery to attack Israel and America??? Unless they are attacked???

      My friend, you must be thinking of Israel which almost never attacks because it hopes to come to an agreement. No arab muzzie islamist will refrain from being the first to attack. This is their nature, to be the thieves, robbers, brutal savages and wen they find resistance…they usually cut throats, only this time they’ve escalated their bloody game and will play with nuclear power!

    • Mickey Oberman

      Michael, since you are so certain how about a sworn affidavit about your convictions.
      It must, of course, be signed sealed and delivered by you.

      I am sure it will make all Jews everywhere feel safe.

  • Reform School

    “Who, if anyone, will have the vision and courage to be the next Sens. Jackson and Javits?” Or Moynihan or O’Neill?

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for yiddisher kopp anywhere near J Street or the National Jewish Democratic Coalition.

  • Joe

    The Jewish community anywhere in the World leans Left. They have embraces socialistic ideals time after time. These choices have hurt them in Germany and Russia. Their political power, financial means enabled the Nazi’s and the Communists. For some reason they always gravitate toward socialism. Same in the US, Jewish votes put many progressives such as Barak Obama in power. I say I would stand by a conservative Jew but I want nothing to do with those who never learn and have helped anialate the United States of America by electing its destructor Barak Obama. Jews deserve this, the rest don’t. So long Israel, thank fellow Jews for your destruction.

  • It is clear… the Jews in The USA will be led not by Max Fisher and the heads of The New York Federation of Jewish Philanthropies and UJA. Wall Street leaders are few and far between, and Max is no more. The leader of the Democratic minority in the senate, Senator Charles “Chuck” Schumer (D), will stand where Senators Henry “Scoop” Jackson (D) and Jacob “Jack” Javits (R) stood.

    Chuck Schumer will lead his chamber. Is he up to this? Will others stand with Chuck Schumer? Yes, and many others will join. For there is no choice. We must educate the president that came to power because of his color, warmly supported by other with minority status…

    As always, it is a question of leadership.

  • Sandra rapke

    So far, not even one Jewish legislator has dared speak and act for the self. It’s sickening me – as a child if a Holocaust survivor. Apathy killed 6 million Jews. Where’s “never again?”

  • Senator Schumer and his colleagues need to be contacted about opposing the Iranian nuclear agreement, and getting enough votes to override a Presidential veto. Please start by contacting Senator Schumer.

  • ted weiss

    Iam ashamed of the silence of Us Jews as the poor lads dont want to have their comfortable status challenged.
    Nathan I like you am an immigrant from Eastern Europe I adopted
    my Zionist ideolgy after I Immigrated to USA for which am gratefull for allowing the freedom of expression of religion ,but unlike me most of the US jews dont care abouT Israel ,they care
    about materialistic things and that is it .However the exception are the orthodox jews , which are minority.
    It pain me to see the secular jews join such duscusting orgnizayions as Jay Street ,BDS ,Israel1 Fund
    I hope the majority could be reached

    • mary daly

      why if you feel so strongly for Israel did you immigrat to america instead of Israel

  • Robert Weintraub

    Sorry Mr.Sharansky American Jews are not standing up against the Obama administration nor will they. American Jews are more pacifist than they are Jewish. Polls show far more opposition to the agreement exists in the general American public than in the specific Jewish public. You would better off directing your efforts to the general American public.

  • steven L

    I hope Natan knows something I don’t know!
    I am certain that he will have a chat with Schumer!!!

  • Not little chuckie schumer

  • Brainwreck: The Truth: To many Americans and Jewish Reform Movement and others are funding The New Israel Fund and Jstreet to help destroy Israel. Both of them work in BDS movement run by the Muslim Brotherhood and have contact with Hamas. This is a violation of the Patriot Act and American Nonprofit laws. This has been reported to the IRS and Israeli Security and now to the FBI.