On Aug. 13, The Jerusalem Post ran a story on the historic debate within the American Jewish community revolving around the Iranian nuclear deal currently in Congress, awaiting approval or rejection. B'nai B'rith International recently called for Congress to reject the deal based on a long Iranian track record of terrorism and obfuscation.
In The Jerusalem Post story, B'nai B'rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin explained why the organization arrived at this position, putting his "ear to the ground" while traveling and speaking with the American Jewish community.
Well into his seventh year at the White House, having survived countless public bouts with Israel's prime minister, US President Barack Obama has grown accustomed to charges that he and his administration are not entirely aligned with the policies of the Israeli government.
Far different are the accusations now leveled against the president over his rhetoric in selling the nuclear deal reached last month with Iran.
Past fights— over settlement activity, the rules of warfare, and how best to initially approach Tehran— have largely been waged directly between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government. Both parties are principal players in today's debate, but a third party has clamorously inserted itself: The American Jewish establishment.
As the president engages that group aggressively, with vigor and in personal terms, several of its leaders are accusing him of crossing a sacred line. But Jewish supporters of Obama are accusing his opponents of employing destructive tactics that risk tearing the community apart.
A number of major American Jewish organizations have declared opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, announced on July 14 in Vienna, and are fighting it on Capitol Hill, where Congress will hold a vote in September on whether or not to approve it.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the American Jewish Committee, B'nai B'rith International, the Orthodox Union, and several individual chapters of the Jewish Federations of North America are campaigning against the JCPOA, which the president says will verifiably prevent Iran from ever acquiring nuclear weapons. Their disapproval can be summarized in one sentence: Iran should never be allowed to become a "nuclear threshold" state— forever on the brink of weaponization— and yet this deal, taken in its totality, concedes precisely that fate and all of its consequences.
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