On August, 17th 340 rabbis urged Congress to approve Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). In their letter to Congress, these rabbis objected to the notion that all Jews oppose the agreement. They were joined by 51 Christian faith leaders, who smacked down Republicans by supporting Obama on Iran.
And yes, hundreds of rabbis say they will march to Washington to show their opposition to the Iran Nuclear Deal, but those 340 rabbis who have come out in support of it have now become 440.
In their letter to Congress they write,
As rabbis, we support the agreement between the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, Russia, and Iran- The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. We encourage the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to endorse this agreement.
The Obama administration has successfully brought together the major international powers to confront Iran over its nuclear ambitions. The broad international sanctions moved Iran to enter this historic agreement. Should this agreement be rejected by the U.S. congress, those sanctions will end. There will be no new negotiations, as the other member countries are fully in favor of this agreement and have no desire to re-negotiate.
We understand that while this agreement blocks Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb, we recognize it does not deal with Iran’s support for terror, but that was never the purpose of these talks. Now that a nuclear agreement has been reached, we call on the United States and its international partners to strengthen their resolve and dedicate additional resources to confront Iranian threats to Israel and other states.
Most especially, we are deeply concerned with the impression that the leadership of the American Jewish community is united in opposition to the agreement. We, along with many other Jewish leaders, fully support this historic nuclear accord.
What do Republicans offer in advance? The people who brought you the Iraq War. Yes, the same gang who lobbied for an illegal invasion of a nation that had offered no provocation, a nation that had no weapons of mass destruction, a nation that was, in fact, itself opposed to Al Qaeda, our declared enemy.
In a recent speech at American University, Obama called it a “mindset”:
We had to end the mindset that got us there in the first place. It was a mindset characterized by a preference for military action over diplomacy; a mindset that put a premium on unilateral US action over the painstaking work of building international consensus; a mindset that exaggerated threats beyond what the intelligence supported. Leaders did not level with the American people about the costs of war, insisting that we could easily impose our will on a part of the world with a profoundly different culture and history. And, of course, those calling for war labeled themselves strong and decisive, while dismissing those who disagreed as weak—even appeasers of a malevolent adversary.
Apparently, among a great many people, that mindset no longer holds sway. It is no fluke that Obama routed Republicans in the court of public opinion as polls show 55% want the Iran Deal approved. In fact, The Washington Post reported as far back as March that the American people preferred diplomacy to war: “By a nearly 2 to 1 margin, Americans support the notion of striking a deal with Iran that restricts the nation’s nuclear program in exchange for loosening sanctions.”
And it is not just the public. We saw the “Statement by National Security Leaders on the Announcement of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” signed by 60 national security leaders, from cabinet members to senators.
This was followed by, more than 70 nuclear nonproliferation experts announcing support for the Iran Nuclear Deal. All conservatives had in response was mocking the idea of non-proliferation experts like they mock environmental experts. In other words, they had nothing but their usual ad hominem attacks, which is what you use when you have no facts on your side.
A former Bush National Security Adviser backed Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal: Brent Snowcroft said rejecting the Iran deal “is an abdication of America’s unique role and responsibility.” Even the former head of Israel’s intelligence service, Mossad, Efraim Halevy came out in support of the deal.
Finally, we saw the long-looked-for headline:
The support of those 440 rabbis is more than symbolic. They are evidence of a widespread rejection of the Republican way of doing business.
Republicans never had anything to offer as an alternative but war. The chickenhawks have their mindset, but they are among a diminishing number that do.
The world has spoken, President Obama has spoken, Democratic leaders have spoken, national security and nuclear non-proliferation experts have spoken, religious leaders both Christian and Jewish have spoken, and the American people have spoken with them: there will be no war.
The consequences of this consensus for the party that is running nearly every one of its candidates on a pro-war, Neocon, chickenhawk platform, scarce need be mentioned. Obama’s victory is not only a repudiation of war, it is a repudiation of one of the pillars of the Republican Party’s hopes for 2016.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.