340 US Rabbis Antagonistic to Israel Sign Document Supporting Iran Deal

August 21, 2015

3 min read

340 American rabbis, most of whom are associated with organizations critical to Israel, recently signed a declaration supporting the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1, the passing of which Israel strongly opposes. The deal, intended to curtail Iran’s nuclear program, is expected to do the opposite by shortening Iran’s nuclear breakout time, making inspections of nuclear facilities less rigorous, and lifting sanctions against the country.

The document was sponsored by the organization Ameinu (“our people”), which defines itself as “a strong liberal voice in America promoting a more progressive Israel.” The majority of the rabbis who signed the document, making up a mere six percent of the total number of rabbis currently active in the United States, hail from one of three anti-Israel or Israel-bashing movements, according to a recent report by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA).  

In a recent press release issued on Wednesday, ZOA President Morton A. Klein stated:

“The rabbis signing the Ameinu letter do not in any way represent the viewpoint of American rabbis. To only be able to get six percent of US rabbis to sign this statement supporting the catastrophic Iran deal clearly indicates that rabbinic leaders are deeply concerned about the Iran nuclear deal.”

Over 50 percent of the rabbis on the list are members of the left-wing lobbyist group J Street Rabbinic Cabinet; 12 of those are members of the J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Executive Council. Thirteen of the rabbis are significant donors to the arguably anti-Israel Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) organization, and several others are on the Board of Directors of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which is a supporter of the extremely anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

J Street has a long history of supporting the Iran regime’s interests over those of the US and Israel. The leftist lobbying group also has financial as well as other ties to the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), an apparent arm of the Iranian regime. J Street’s financial filings revealed that their initial funders included NIAC board member Genevieve Lynch.

RHR regularly participates in anti-Israel demonstrations and, along with other anti-Israel groups, launched a website with false testimonies accusing Israel of human rights violations in Gaza. JVP is featured on the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) list of the “Top 10 Anti-Israel Groups in America.” JVP actively promotes the anti-Israel BDS movement.

In some cases, signatories seem to be working against their own best interests in their eagerness to support the deal. Rabbi Linda Holtzman, who signed the declaration, is known as a “pioneer lesbian rabbi.”  Iran has an appalling human rights record when it comes to homosexuality and has brutally executed hundreds of innocent individuals due to their sexual orientation. The deal, which will lift sanctions on Iran, is projected to allow billions of dollars to flow into the country, enabling Iran to continue its brutal oppression of members of the LGBT community, as well as other minorities.

Rabbi Arthur Waskow, who also signed the declaration, stated that the people at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are “people I trust and admire and respect.”  CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in the lawsuit involving the Holy Land Foundation, which sent funding to Hamas. CAIR is also among the top groups that the ADL has frequently condemned for its anti-Israel activities.

ZOA President Klein further attempted to distance the American Jewish community from the renegade six percent by pointing out that the majority of American Jewish groups oppose the deal, saying, “Almost every major Jewish and pro-Israel group strongly opposes this disastrous Iran deal. These major groups opposed to the Iran deal include: the American Israel Public Affairs Committee; the Anti-Defamation League; the Zionist Organization of America; the American Jewish Committee; the American Jewish Congress; B’nai Brith; Christians United for Israel; the Orthodox Union; over 100 organizations who are members of the StopIranRally.org Coalition; and Jewish Federations across the country including in Los Angeles, Boston, Miami, Houston, Phoenix, Chicago, New York, and many more.”

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