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August 10, 2015 10:34 am

Iran Deal Backers Have a Bridge to Sell You

avatar by Benyamin Korn

Email a copy of "Iran Deal Backers Have a Bridge to Sell You" to a friend
Iran's Arak Heavy Water reactor. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

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

In a blistering letter published by the New York Times last week, American Jewish leader Seymour Reich denounced Israel’s prime minister for interfering in America’s affairs by urging Congress to reject the Iran deal. Reich is a former chairman of the Presidents’ Conference and once headed the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Commission. Which means he should have known better.

For the very same day that Reich’s letter appeared, diplomats from the five European and Asian countries involved in negotiating the deal were on Capitol Hill, urging Congress to accept the Iran deal. Will Seymour Reich now write a follow-up letter, accusing the European and Asian diplomats of interfering in America’s affairs? Don’t hold your breath.

In his August 7 letter, Reich argued that Netanyahu’s appeals to American Jewry and Congress have been “wholly inappropriate” because they “constituted an intrusion by a foreign leader into American domestic politics.”

Reich continued: “It’s up to the United States to make a decision on this deal on its merits.” Well, of course it is, and it will. Prime Minister Netanyahu is forcefully expressing his opinion as to the specific merits of the Iran deal, and Members of Congress will weigh his opinion along with the opinions of many others, and then decide. How can it be “inappropriate” for the prime minister of the country most endangered by the deal to express his opinion on it?

As might be expected, foreign supporters of the deal have been chiming in, too. Diplomats from Germany, Britain, France, Russia, and China have “launched a coordinated lobbying effort on Capitol Hill,” the Washington Post reports.

Philipp Ackermann, the deputy ambassador from Germany, together with the deputy ambassadors of the other countries involved in the Iran talks, began by “briefing” 25 Democratic senators, and additional meetings with senators are set for this week. These foreign representatives also “have been in regular contact with members of the House,” the Post notes. According to the Post, the foreign diplomats have echoed many of the arguments that [President] Obama has made.” What a coincidence!

Thirty years ago, Seymour Reich was chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Thank goodness he’s not the chairman of the Conference now. The current chairman, Stephen M. Greenberg, has pointedly refused to endorse the Iran deal. The Conference of Presidents supported Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to Congress in March, and it cosponsored Netanyahu’s webcast to American Jewry last week.

If Seymour Reich and the other Jewish supporters of the Iran agreement were sincerely opposed to “foreign intrusion” in the debate, they would be angrily condemning Germany, Britain, France, Russia, and China for lobbying just as they are condemning Netanyahu. But their criticism is reserved for Israel’s prime minister alone.

Their invocation of the high-sounding principle of “no foreign intrusion” is phony. What bothers them is not foreign intrusion; what bothers them is what those foreigners are saying. Foreign intruders who are against the deal are dangerous interlopers, in their view; but foreign intruders who support the deal are perfectly welcome.

So please, Mr. Reich, stop pretending that this is an argument over whether or not foreigners should express their opinions. Make your case on the merits. Try to convince us that a deal which gives Iran 24 days to hide its nuclear violations, permits Iran to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles, and strengthens Iranian proxies such as Hezbollah and Hamas is a good deal for America and Israel.

Maybe you’ll succeed in persuading a few American Jews to endorse it. And then maybe afterwards, you can ask if they’d be interested in purchasing a certain bridge in Brooklyn.

Mr. Korn, the former executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent and the Miami Jewish Tribune, is chairman of the Philadelphia Religious Zionists.

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  • Mike Schwarzer

    Republicans (Right wing), will do anything for a war, including lies and misleads of their own people. They can’t be trusted to do anything other then put billions into the hands of a few and screw the rest of us who have to pay for it. War mongers.

    Add in the ‘No’ vote for NPT they are just positioning us for another war. Iran caved and the deal is excellent, this was unexpected by Benny, so he’s reverted to telling a big lie, scaring the masses and mountains of propaganda that he hopes will work. He hopes we will be customarily stupid.

    We know that there is a real problem with Israel spies in the US, but there’s been no way to discover the degree of infiltrations. This issue because the ‘No’ is NOT FACTUALLY SUPPORTABLE. There can only be a few reasons.

    Senator is bough and paid for by the US lobby,
    Senator confused on which government they serve.
    Senator lacks the intellectual capacity to understand the deal,
    Senator positioning us for another war like Iraq and Afghanistan.

    US political integrity needs us to send a clear message, the US is not puppets of Israel. At the election, remember who sold out the public interests and can’t be trusted. Bush was supposed to be the best of the republicans, what does that say about the Republicans? ‘Bush and Iraq’ WMD BS story’, not we have Benny and Iran’s ‘Someday WMD BS Story’. Only an idiot would vote Republican, any an idiot would trust the Republicans. What we’ve learned is the Right wingers, believe in whack-a-mole security. But that is not peace, it’s an invitation to perpetual terrorism.

  • Yale

    The best witness against the deal is Obama himself. The case against the deal can, and should, be made by quoting Obama on what constitutes a “good deal” and then demonstrating that Obama’s deal doesn’t achieve any of those objectives.

    Perhaps we will then hear the White House denouncing deal opponents for allowing different times to interfere in American politics.

    With this White House “War is Peace”, “Freedom is Slavery” and “Ignorance is Strength”, and “The Deal prevents a nuclear Iran”.

  • Mike Schwarzer

    If propaganda had an odour, this is a rotten fish.

  • Robert Davis

    reich is a PUPPET in the hands of zerobanana which means he is even below a zero or a banana. This guy has no stomack, no brain, no real feeling for America, he is a WRECK.

  • Larry Andrews

    It would be naïve to believe that there is any difference between wiping Israel off the face of the earth, and wiping the Jewish people off the face of the earth. The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran has fully endorsed the edict to “KILL ALL JEWS”, and not just wipe Israel off the face of the earth. It’s
    that simple! This agreement has the potential to be a death sentence for the Jewish people, and needs to be defeated!!

  • Jacques Bertrand

    Mr Reich is collaborating with those who are working towards a second – this time nuclear – version of the Holocaust. Iranian rhetoric, radical Islamic ideology and current terrorist activity all provide a retort to those who purport to deny the intent of current Iranian nuclear policy. They wish to destroy Israel- – -that means killing the Jewish population by the use of nuclear bombs. And Mr. Obama is handing them the means to do so. The Republicans in Congress are weak. The Democrats are spineless and corrupt in their majority.
    Donc, c’est chose faite, ou à peu près ! Only Israel remains to block the rise of the Iranian nuclear power.

    • Robert Davis

      I think many more rightful and honest people are against the iran deal and its promoter,zero banana. It is not yet “chose faite”we’ll pan out.

  • Mireille Mechoullam

    Kiddo to Mr Stephen Greenberg for his right decision and say it like it is: the deal is far away of being good to the USA or for any nation and thanks to Mr Korn to write about it.

  • It was okay for America to interfere in the Israeli elections

  • Markus Elkana Brajtman

    How can any Jew, no matter where he lives, support this “deal” to give Iran the go ahead to produce the bomb to “wipe Israel off the map?”
    Kerry and the orhers, kept on saying “no more extentions” but every time they came close to the final date, they extended>
    I wonder how many of those who sat in at the conference, did not agree to the deal.
    Is that why the conference carried on for a lenth of time?
    But Kerry twisted many arms to agree to give Iran more time to close the deal, which was for Iran to receive every benefit possible, and nothing in return
    Obama is a Muslim as he has said many times.
    Sure, he is angry with Netanyahu and others who condemn this deal.
    Obama would like to see Israel disappear, so that his fellow Muslims could take over every thing that the “nasty” Jews built up.
    Why did Obama condemn Netanyahu for going against the deal, and had so much to say about Netanyahu “interfering” with US policies.
    But why should Netanyahu not condemn the deal, as Obama knows that the Ayatola and the Iranian leadership have made it clear that they want Israel “to disappear”

    • Bryna Weiss

      Your absurd comments about President Obama make anything else you have to say invalid!! You are a biased fool who doesn’t weigh what he says against common sense and truth, so your ‘advice’ is meaningless, dsestructive and hateful.

  • marta mikey frid

    Please stop addressing these people as Jews. Being Jewish is a little more than being circumcised, or being so classified by the Halacha. These people’s Jewishness is only skin deep, used as a pretext to gain acceptability by the diaspora. There is no trace of Jewish soul (defined as Freud did: the total psyche of the person), nor of Jewish values in their thinking.
    Please read the Torah not as the literalists instructed us to do, but as the original scribes would have intended it to be interpreted.

  • Franklin Delano Paskutnik

    Seymour Reich should be ashamed of himself!If only the US had a president like Benjamin Netanyahu,a leader who received more standing ovations during his address to Congress than Obama will ever get.

  • Reform School

    Obama sent agents to Israel to defeat Bibi’s reelection, but it is ISRAEL that is interfering in AMERICAN affairs? Do media Lib-tards report CANADIAN opposition to the deal?
    Seymour isn’t the first Lib with bris-based brain damage: BBC Whirled Service has been spinning for Obama since 2008. NPR Morning Emission pitches Obama’s Taqiya August 11 & 12. Si is ready to fry Jews again? Might he be the 4th Reich?

    • Robert Davis

      Why don’t jews blow up that damned bbc? above 10 deads they would stop their wretched pr for a ww3 immediately.

  • jack shnaier

    during world war 2,both Great Britain & Nazi Germany tried to influence the USA.The USA only joined the war against Nazi Germany when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour.Both sides prior to Dec 1941 tried to influence Congress so where does Seymour Reich come up with his ideas.The Democratic Party made a bad call electing Obama as President.Iran is copying Imperial Japan & is waiting to stab the USA in the back.Iran has deduced that Obama is a left wing inferior President in words & deeds and mean to take full advantage to achieve their aims

  • David Levy

    This is not an American domestic matter matter anyway. It is a matter of grave and deep concern to the entire world community.

  • Pinchas Baram in Boston

    Seymour Reich, like Henry Siegman of the AJCongress of yesterday, is one more big mouth,big ego New Yorker who’s in pique because he’s no longer given the red carpet treatment by Israeli counterparts (who are also often big mouth, big ego types).

    Seymour,retire already to sunnier climes– and take ex-rabbi Siegamn with you.

    • Bryna Weiss

      He is entitled to his opinion. This is still a free country, last I heard. Some of these comments make me ill!

  • Jacqueline

    Seymour reich is a delusional,Jew. My Christians ask me why would Jewish people support Obama. This is an example.

  • MartyNYC

    Does Mr. Korn also agree that Netanyahu had every right to
    campaign for Romney in his race against Obama because he
    thought Romney would be better for Israel?

    • Mireille Mechoullam

      Just in case you didn’t know: Bill Clinton interfere in Israel Politics and so lately President Obama. They both didn’t want Binyamin Natanyahou win. And just in case you didn’t know France Preseident Hollande didn’t want Mr BB to participate in Paris’s March againt Muslim terrorists. The world is not used to have a strong Israel that have a voice today unlike when Jews were scattered around and been weak. Today Jews have a country that they can rely on.

  • Counr L F Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz

    A fourth generation n native Florida Jew involved with writing n marching in support of Israel in Miami I never heard of a Miami Jewish Journal do you mean Miami in Ohio?

  • ART

    Yet another Court Jew trotted out by Obama. Behind their smoke screen Obama has led the nastiest most ugly anti Jewish campaign America has seen since Father Coughlin, Henry Ford and the nazi bund

    • Robert Davis

      ART : I entirely agree with you. zerobanana is one of the worst antisemites I ever heard of, a low grade “person” a radical moslem ie scum.

    • Bryna Weiss

      This is so ridiculous and untrue, I cannot believe there are those of your ilk around. Without a brain, without a conscience, you are not a thinking Jew. Whatever you may wish to fantasize, Obama is a true supporter of Jews and Israel and he believes what he is attempting is for the best interests of the US and the World. Many thousands of us are not so sure and each can make his own opinion know- based on fact- not on bigotted, right-wing stories. Disgusting.