Crown Heights Synagogues Mobilize in Grassroots Campaign to Swing Rep Clarke Against Iran Deal
Grassroots Jewish activists in Brooklyn have launched an extensive campaign to pressure local Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) to come out in opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, the Algemeiner learned on Thursday.
The campaign was aided by a representative from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee who educated the community on the deal, which involved a joint initiative among local synagogues to call and pressure Clarke over several consecutive days, with shifts swapped among congregations. AIPAC did not provide any funding for the initiative.
Yosef Hershkop of the Grade Shul said he was confident that for most community members, this was the first time that they had reached out to their local representative.
Perhaps feeling the pressure, the congresswoman’s office apparently began asking the synagogues to stop the campaign, according to Hershkop.
Separately, activists also hung banners around Brooklyn’s 9th congressional district, including on Kingston, Albany and Brooklyn avenues, though the latter was removed as a safety hazard.
The posters included messages such as “Don’t Let Iran Get the Bomb: Urge Congresswoman Clarke to Vote No,” and “The Iran Deal Endangers Us All.”
The campaign came as two other New York Democrats, reps. Steve Israel (D-NY) and Nita Lowey (D-NY) announced their opposition to the deal.
AIPAC pledged up to $40 million in efforts to persuade Congress members to vote against the Iran deal, and perhaps to secure a congressional majority to override President Barack Obama if he vetoes Congress’ ruling.