Roger L. Simon

Amsterdam Diary: The Iran Deal Seen from the Jewish Museum

Amsterdam’s Jewish Historical Museum, which is hard by the city’s historic Portuguese Synagogue, is an impressively put together interactive exhibition of the contemporary multi-media sort, replete with film clips, old documents, photographs and the like.

Amsterdam was historically the most hospitable European city to Jews who were oppressed just about everywhere else, unless they were expelled. Amsterdam had some 80,000 in the late 1930s and then you-know-what happened and they were all liquidated, except for a handful (like Anne Frank) who hid and were able to survive, at least for a while. Only a similar handful came back alive.

Naturally, being Jewish, I found the museum quite affecting.  It brought tears to my eyes, etc.  Well, I shouldn’t say “naturally” because I couldn’t take my mind off the current Iran deal, marveling that contemporary American Jews (or anybody half awake, for that matter) could support such an absurdity.  Many of them, of course, have not studied the details, have no idea what’s really in the agreement and don’t want to know. They believe such asinine arguments as “it’s the best deal we could get” or “it’s the deal or war.”  But if you ask them what the deal is, they can’t even begin to tell you. (Trust me — I’ve tried.)  It’s too inconvenient for them, too disturbing to confront the reality they may have made a mistake in their support of Saint Obama. It would be highly disruptive to their lives.  To say the least, these people are not likely to form the cadres of the next Resistance.  No Primo Levis there.

Worse yet are the American Jewish leaders and politicians who support the deal.  Treasury Secretary Jack Lew — an orthodox Jew, no less, who in June brilliantly reassured us there would be no significant domestic fallout from the vicissitudes of the Chinese economy (how’s that working out?) — has been a consistent flack for the administration.  More recently New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler has jumped to the fore, announcing his support for the deal.  From Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in The Observer:

Jerry Nadler has the largest Jewish constituency in the United States. In the six-and-a-half years he’s been in Congress he has never been invited to a personal meeting with President Obama. In fact, Mr. Nadler became something of a pariah in the Obama White House when, days before the 2008 general election, Mr. Nadler was caught on an open mic telling Jewish voters in Florida that Mr. Obama lacked the “political courage” to leave Rev. Wright’s church. But suddenly, with the president convinced that a deal with Iran is critical to his legacy, Mr. Nadler is being showered with love.

The word pathetic would be applicable were not such a reactionary and gutless decision ultimately so dangerous.  I wonder how someone like Nadler sleeps.  What does he think when more and more news of this “deal” surfaces, lately including the reports of secret side agreements that not even John Kerry has read — or so he says.  I don’t know the level of Nadler’s education, but if he knows anything about the twentieth century, he should know that the Wannsee Conference was held in secret.