J Street is now the sole major Jewish policy group supporting the Iran nuclear deal.
The Anti-Defamation League announced this evening that “because our profound concerns with the agreement have not yet been satisfactorily addressed, ADL believes that Congress should vote no.”
ADL director Jonathan Greenblatt wrote at the Huffington Post that the organization consulted with members of Congress and administration officials as well as “numerous experts” to arrive at their conclusion.
“To be clear, we respect and appreciate the commitment of the Administration and Members of Congress who have engaged in a serious and sustained effort over many years to neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat. We do not purport to possess expert knowledge of the complexities of nuclear physics or sanctions,” Greenblatt wrote.
“However, ADL has had policy on this issue for over a decade because of our mission: to fight the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. And, for decades, Iran repeatedly has promoted anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism; killed American civilians; threatened to obliterate the Jewish State; and institutionalized illiberalism. So we are concerned not only that the agreement appears to offer Iran a legal and legitimate pathway to become a nuclear threshold state in just over a decade, but more immediately, standing as a normalized member of the international community.”
The windfall of cash Iran stands to receive, he added, “will almost certainly allow it to advance its agenda of bigotry, expansionism and support for terrorism.”
“Indeed in recent days, we have seen commercial delegations flood into Tehran even as its leaders flout international sanctions by visiting foreign capitals; its judiciary represses religious minorities at home; and its inciteful rhetoric becomes even more sophisticated and strident. These are ominous signs,” Greenblatt continued.
“We want diplomacy to work, and we fully accept there are times when our leaders must forge agreements with countries whose ambitions we oppose. We are aware, however, that this deal walks past many of the red lines originally drawn by the United States and emboldens the Iranian regime even as it continually threatens the U.S. and our allies. That is why the United States must work to ensure that the ultimate red line, as stated by successive U.S. Presidents, that Iran will never acquire a nuclear weapon, is made crystal clear not only in words, but through concrete steps taken both unilaterally and in concert with our allies.”
ADL does “implore all sides to tone down the heated rhetoric.”
“…We stress that ADL cannot support the JCPOA in its current form. Without offering a robust set of measures to account for its vulnerabilities, the JCPOA presents too great a risk to the U.S. and for our critical allies like Israel. Until the administration acts to address these concerns, and whether or not it is approved by Congress, we urge a new path forward that convinces Iran to eschew its agenda of bigotry and violence.”
AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, the Conference of Presidents and the Jewish Federations of North America have all come out against the deal.