Letters the week of Aug. 13, 2015


One letter this week makes the case that the alternative to no Iran deal was not war and another makes the case that stating that American Jews do not stand united is not a big deal.

Further Fallout From Op-ed
Bradley Harris (Letters, 8/6) follows up his op-ed in favor of the Iran deal by claiming in response to one of his critics that no deal would be much worse. This is untrue. The alternative to a bad deal was not war — although that is more likely, now that Israel might have no other option but to stop Iran going nuclear with military strikes — but a better deal or, failing that, retention of strong sanctions. Indeed, retaining strong sanctions rather than pre-emptively relaxing them last year might have compelled Iran to yield serious concessions.
Instead, we have a terrible deal and, soon, no sanctions. 
That means $150 billion in unfrozen Iranian assets and tens of billions annually in new revenues that will be lavished on Iranian-backed terror groups like Hezbollah and Hamas — a great way to tranquilize the Middle East and protect Israel!
As Harris must know, this deal doesn’t dismantle any element of Iran’s nuclear weapons infrastructure. It also contradicts every substantive assurance President Obama gave on stopping Iran becoming a nuclear power. 
President Obama’s demand that Iran dismantle its thousands of centrifuges: dropped.
His demand that Iran shutter its plutonium facility at Arak: dropped. 
His demand that Iran shutter its underground nuclear facility at Fordow: dropped.
His demand that Iran accept free, unfettered and unannounced inspections of all of its nuclear facilities: dropped. 
His demand that Iran fully account for the military dimensions of its past clandestine nuclear research and development programs: dropped.
His insistence that non-nuclear sanctions imposed on Iran 
for its role in international terrorism and abuses of human rights remain firmly in place: dropped. 
Michael Goldblatt | Chairman, Board of Directors, Zionist Organization of America
Leak Story: Much Ado About Nothing
According to your article (“Leaked Telegram Reveals Israeli Concerns”), Haaretz is trying to make a big deal out of an alleged telegram from Israel's Mid-Atlantic Region consul general to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, “stating that American Jews do not stand united” with regard to the Iran deal.
Well, of course they are not “united.” Is there a single issue on which all American Jews — or any other ethnic community in America — are united? There is always a majority as well as a minority. What is remarkable about the Iran deal controversy, however, is that Jews are more united — in opposition — than on most other issues. In Israel, both the Likud government and the Labor (Zionist Union) opposition strongly oppose the deal. Polls show that more than 70 percent of Israelis are against it. Polls of American Jews that were taken immediately after the agreement was announced — and before anyone heard the arguments for and against — found American Jews approximately evenly divided. But the most recent poll, taken by The Israel Project after American Jews became much more familiar with the details of the agreement, found that 58 percent want Congress to reject it.
Benyamin Korn | Chairman, Philadelphia Religious Zionists 


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