Op-ed: American Jews, who traditionally have been overwhelmingly Democrat, need to choose if the Jewish state’s security & survival trump the legacy of, & loyalty to, a lame duck president that Israel feels is endangering it.
By Shoula Romano Horing
After World War II, Jews everywhere promised that never again would they be silent or sit idly by while evil tries to destroy the Jewish people. Iranian leaders have repeatedly promised to destroy the Jewish state. It appears that the nuclear deal will give them the means to do it.
American Jews, who are overwhelmingly Democrats, will have to choose the Jewish state’s survival and security over the legacy of and loyalty to a lame duck president from the Democratic Party. They must help stop the Vienna nuclear deal by convincing Democratic senators and congressmen to override a presidential veto. Otherwise, the Jewish promise of “never again” is an empty phrase.
Israeli Jews feel betrayed by Obama and are hoping that American Jews will join the fight. According to a new poll conducted in Israel, 73 percent of the Jewish Israeli public think President Barack Obama was not looking out for Israel’s interests when negotiating the nuclear deal, and 76 percent of Jewish Israelis believe Israel should fight to torpedo the Iranian nuclear deal in Congress.
Thoughtful and reasonable people who have read the 159 pages of the Iran nuclear deal must admit that the deal with Iran is a very bad one. According to the best case scenario, which assumes the unlikely possibility that the Iranians will not cheat, Iran will be free to legitimately have as many nuclear weapons as they desire after 10 years, purchase conventional weaponry in five years, and be able to purchase ballistic missile technology in eight years.
Under this agreement, its breakout time, which is the time it would take them to put together enough weapons-grade uranium for one bomb, will be one year.
According to the more realistic scenario, in which the Iranian Islamic regime will probably cheat as they have cheated for the last 20 years regarding their nuclear program and other international agreements, they could have a nuclear bomb by the end of Obama’s term. After the sanctions relief by the beginning of 2016, if Iran cheats or breaks the agreement, their breakout time will be around two to three months.
US Jews will not forgive a vote to strengthen anti-Semitic Iran and its axis of evil, while throwing the Jewish State under the presidential bus.
The details of the deal enable and encourage Iranian cheating. The United States’ concessions on inspections of nuclear sites have allowed Iran to pre-approve them and to delay inspections by IAEA for up to 78 days, which many say is clearly more than enough time for Iran to scrub down any possible violations.
But under both scenarios, it is much worse. After the initial compliance of the deal by Iran by mid- October and IAEA verification by mid- December, Iran will be given by beginning of 2016, hundreds of billion dollars’ worth of unfrozen assets and sanctions relief allowing it to become a regional conventional military power in the Middle East and to militarily strengthen their terrorist proxies such as Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Syrian President Bashar Assad in their fight against Israel.
While Israel has received since its founding 67 years ago a total of $124.3 billion in aid by the US, Iran will be given by the US up to $150 billion as an immediate signing bonus. In recent years, the Israeli economy and daily life was twice paralyzed by Hamas and Hezbollah missiles attacks. Imagine what the next war against Israel will look like.
Hezbollah now has more than 100,000 missiles targeting the entire State of Israel from the north and Hamas has thousands more in the south. The Iranian deal will guarantee that Israel will have to face at least two wars in the next decade. In the short term, they will face a more deadly conventional war and in the long run a possible nuclear war.
It seems that the main argument Obama supporters use to convince Jews and Democrats to vote for the deal is loyalty for the Democratic Party’s president. With knowledge of these horrible scenarios, how can any Jew vote for or support a deal that will adversely affect many Jewish generations to come in order to salvage Obama’s political legacy?
American Jews have experienced this before. In the 1930s and ’40s, most Jews in America were reluctant to try and ineffective at rescuing their Jewish brethren in Europe during the Holocaust. The excuse was that most Jews were either new immigrants themselves or first generation Americans, and were afraid of the anti-Semitism that existed in the US at the time. In 2015, US Jews have no such excuses.
A two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress is needed to assert congressional dominance over the Presidential veto. There are 54 Republicans in the US Senate and they will all vote against the deal. To override a veto, the Republicans need to convince 13 Democrats to vote against it.
There are nine Jewish Democrats in the Senate, including Senators Chuck Schumer (NY), Ben Cardin (MD), Richard Bennet (CO), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Barbara Boxer (CA), Dianne Feinstein (CA), Al Franken (MN), Brian Schatz (HI) and Ron Wyden (OR). Senator Schumer came out as opposing the deal, but Boxer chose liberalism over her Jewish roots. Five non-Jewish Democrats must join in. But till now, it seems that the Democratic Party lacks few righteous gentiles to support Israel.
There are 247 Republicans in the House. They need 290 members to override a veto, which means they would need 43 Democrats to abandon Obama. There are 18 Jewish Democrats in the House, including David Cicilline (RI), Stephen Cohen (TN), Susan Davis (CA), Eliot Engel (NY), Lois Frankel (FL), Alan Lowenthal (CA), Jerrold Nadler (NY), Jared Polis (CO), Alan Grayson (FL), Jan Schakowsky (IL), Brad Sherman (CA), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL) and John Yarmuth (KY).
Four Jewish congressmen – Steve Israel, Nita Lowey and Eliot Engel of New York and Ted Deutch of Florida – courageously came out as opposing the deal, while two Jewish Congressmen – Sandy Levin from Michigan and Adam Schiff of California –have shamelessly come out as supporting the deal .
Even though about 70 percent of American Jews lean Democratic and are ideologically liberal, Jewish Democrats in Congress who are pondering what the Iran vote will mean for their own political futures should remember, that 70 percent of American Jews remain strongly or somewhat strongly attached to the State of Israel.
Though some liberal Jews may have, at times, been persuaded by Obama Administration claims that troubles in the relations between the US and Israel are the fault of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that line is less likely to be effective now that all major parties in Israel and major Jewish organizations in the US – like AIPAC, Hadassah, United Jewish Communities and AJC – have united in opposition to the Iran deal.
Senators Schumer, Cardin and others will want to bear in mind that the American people and the Jewish community in the US are turning against the agreement the more they learn the horrendous details about it. US Jews will not forgive a vote to strengthen anti-Semitic Iran and its axis of evil while throwing the Jewish state under the presidential bus.
Shoula Romano Horing is an attorney. Her blog can be found here: www.shoularomanohoring.com
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