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Iranian and American Jews debate proposed Iran policy-shift at deal-supporting-rabbi's shul

Rabbi David Wolpe, of the significantly Persian-Jewish, Sinai Temple, condemned the JCPOA "Iranian Nuclear Deal Is a Win for Anti-Semitismin Time Magazine (July 14,'15) 

Fully half of the membership of my congregation in Los Angeles are Persian Jews. The vast majority came to the U.S. after 1979, when Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi fell and Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took over. They left not only because of the summary execution of a respected philanthropist and leader of the community, but because it was increasingly clear that confiscation and brutality were replacing the shah’s regime of tolerance. As a result, many of the best and brightest of Iranian society—doctors, business leaders, even government officials, left or were hounded out. Listening to their stories, it’s clear the degree of self-inflicted damage the Iranian regime did is astonishing.
Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple at AIPAC

... How far will Iranians go, once some money is in hand, to pursue their destructive agenda? The belief that rational self-interest is a governing principle is a belief common to rational people. In a world where countries are run by anti-Semites, being anti-Semitic is not necessarily more dangerous than misunderstanding anti-Semitism. We have just concluded a deal (the JCPOA for "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Agreement") with people infected with the oldest and most virulent pathology of hatred the world has known. This is no time for celebration.

"Why do many Jews support the Iran deal? When political ideology trumps reality." by Dennis Prager in FrontPage Magazine Aug 26, '15

—There are no "anytime, anywhere" inspections, as Americans were promised during the negotiations.

—No American or Canadian inspectors will be allowed into Iran.
—The agreement obligates all the parties, including the United States, to help Iran protect its nuclear facilities against an attack, whether physical or cyber.
—Any area of Iran that the Iranian regime designates "military" cannot be inspected.
—Iran can object to any inspection and delay it at least 24 days and, according to the Wall Street Journal, up to three months.
—The deal will free a hundred billion dollars and eventually much more for the Iranian regime to use to bolster Iran's economy and to supply terror groups around the world.

In light of these weaknesses, any one of which renders the deal fraudulent, how could anyone who cares about America, not to mention Israel, support it?

And it gets worse: There are two secret side deals to the agreement made between Iran and the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). They are not just kept secret from you and me. They are kept secret from the president, the secretary of state (who admitted to Congress that he has not seen them) and the Congress of the United States.

How then could any member of Congress vote to affirm an agreement with Iran, crucial parts of which they cannot even know about?  Read more

Rabbi Sarah Bassin, Josh Luckman, Sam Yebri argue JCPOA
"Should Congress Approve or Reject the Iran Nuclear Deal?" a moderated discussion and Q&A at Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills 8/24/15. 30-Years After co-Founder Sam Yebri argues against and USC Law lecturer Josh Luckman for, moderated by the temple's Assistant Rabbi Sarah Bassin. The event was also co-sponsored by AJC Access L.A. 

The event moderator, Temple Emanu-El of Beverly Hills' Assistant Rabbi Sarah Bassin explains the synagogue's intention behind their hosting the 'conversation' on the JCPOA Iran-sanctions-lifting proposal confronting Congress and Senators. 

Sam Yebri argues against and Josh Lockman argues for Sec'y Kerry's Iran sanctions lifting proposal

Iranian-American man reacts to debate: Why shouldn't your Congressman trust sanctions-lifting proposal will protect people from Islamist Iran? 

Iranian-American mother reacts to debate: We all (both Jewish and Muslim Iranian-Americans) want our Congress-people to oppose this proposal leading to World War III - and to renegotiate for a safer, nuclear proposal with Iran.

American Airlines cancelling service to Israel over Arab bigotry, not profitability

(JNS.org) - Aviation industry sources claim that the recent American Airlines decision to cease flights to Israel is the result of the U.S. carrier's ties with Arab airlines.

The airline had announced that it would stop its flights from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv beginning in January 2016 due to financial considerations. 

Casey Norton, a spokesman for American Airlines, told Bloomberg News that the carrier has lost $20 million last year on the route alone.

But aviation sources told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that the actual reason for the route's impending closure is the airline’s participation in the OneWorld alliance, whose members include Arab airlines like Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian as well as Malaysia Airlines (Malaysia is a Muslim-majority nation).

“Profitability wasn’t a problem. The past year hasn’t been easy for the airline industry in general, but that’s far from saying that the route wasn’t profitable. No one would have operated a money-losing route for so many years,” an anonymous industry source said, Haaretz reported.

American's withdrawal of the route will leave only United, Delta, and El Al providing non-stop service to and from the U.S.

Leading Democrat Senator's Reason to Reject Obama's Iran Nuclear Proposal

NY Sen. Chuck Schumer, NJ Sen Bob Menendez(Photo: Reuters)
Democrat Menendez announces opposition to Iran nuclear deal  A.P., Aug 18

NJ Sen. Bob Menendez, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joins Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York in rejecting the deal. Menendez said he is opposed to the measure because Iran has violated various U.N. Security Council resolutions while advancing its nuclear program. He said he is concerned that the agreement doesn't require Iran to dismantle its nuclear infrastructure. 

"Let's remind ourselves of the stated purpose of our negotiations with Iran: Simply put, it was to dismantle all — or significant parts — of Iran's illicit nuclear infrastructure to ensure that it would not have nuclear weapons capability at any time. Not shrink its infrastructure," Menendez said. 

Menendez said his opposition is not an issue of whether he supports or opposes Obama, who has pledged to veto a congressional resolution of disapproval. "This issue is much greater and graver than that," he said. 

(Video by NJTV News)

Why is Iran so happy about the nuclear deal? 
(Video courtesy: The Israel Project

Experts opposed to the deal rally 12,000 attending the Stop Iran Rally in Times Square, July 22nd. (Original video). 

Chuck Schumer’s response to Obama’s vitriol on Iran by Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post Aug 7, 2015.

The biggest news yesterday was not the GOP debate but the announcement from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that he would oppose the Iran deal. Coming days after the president’s outlandish attack that opponents of the deal are cohorts of the Iranian hard-liners, it was a fitting rebuke to a president who can no longer defend the deal on the merits. 

The New York Sun editorialized, “It’s an admirable [statement] — and well-timed, too, coming, as it does, but a day after the President sought to suggest that opponents of the deal are war-mongers and of the ilk that took us to war in Iraq. One can call Mr. Schumer a lot of things, but war-monger isn’t one of them.” Both opponents and supporters of the deal considered Schumer the single most important vote in the Senate, without whom the opponents could not override a veto. 
 An official with a pro-Israel organization opposed to the deal told Right Turn, “Senator Schumer lived up to his self-described title as a ‘shomer’ (guardian) by taking a courageous stand against the disastrous Iran deal. By opposing the agreement, he is standing as a guardian of US security interests and those of our allies in the region.” The official continued, “It is also a Democratic rebuke to the administration’s tactics which smear the deal’s opponents in the face of rapidly eroding public support. Most importantly. Senator Schumer indicated that there was an alternative to this bad deal – continued economic pressure on Iran and pursuing a better deal.”  
House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) also came out against the deal, fueling expectations that a parade of Democrats may follow.  
"Dick Durbin Becomes Lead Whip For Peace On Iran" by Sam Stein in HuffPost Politics, Aug 5, 2015 
 If the president saves his Iran deal from the critics trying to kill it in the United States Senate, it will be in large credit to one lawmaker. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) emerged this past week as the chief organizer, White House liaison and public cheerleader for the controversial agreement. He has organized briefings, taken his case to the airwaves and meticulously encouraged the fence-sitting senators. The administration considers him its most valuable ally in the upper chamber on the deal, while colleagues describe his work as tireless and deft....  
He is the only member of the Senate Democratic leadership team who publicly backs the Iran deal, which exchanges sanction relief for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program. This honor places him at odds, for now, with his longtime collaborators and with his former roommate, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y).  
 “I respect Chuck and I know he is going through a soul-searching process here. He wants to do the right thing," he said. "It is critically important politically as a Jewish-American politician, and it is critically important to him personally. And he is taking the time to do it right. But I believe his decision is not going to sway six, eight or 10 votes. People are just deciding this on an individual basis. I really believe they are.” 
Though he’s alone among Democratic Senate leadership in publicly supporting the Iran deal, Durbin isn’t on particularly difficult political terrain. For starters, it could very well be that the Senate isn’t needed to keep the deal alive. Should legislation pass Congress rejecting the deal, the president will veto it. At that point, two-thirds of each chamber will have to override the veto, and it is widely expected that the votes won’t be there in the House.  
José María Aznar, (former president of Spain and current chairman of the Friends of Israel Initiative) writes in the Wall St. Journal, "Confrontation With Iran Is Inevitable"
Sooner or later the West will have to confront Iran—only later it will face an emboldened, better prepared, modernized and richer Iran that will do its best to attain the goals we’ve always tried to prevent. 
'War eventual from nuclear Iran, unless Dem's thwart Kerry's terms'- British Col. Richard Kemp

Will Chuck Schumer deliver a dozen Democrats to override Obama's Iran veto?

Schumer Speaks Out Against Iran Deal In Greece by Veronica Volk in WXXI News
Credit: AP/Seth Wenig/Susan Walsh/Photo montage by Salon
Senator Chuck Schumer says leaders need to go back to the table to renegotiate the Iran Deal, and made his first public comments about the statement Monday afternoon in Greece.
Schumer says the deal has too many flaws: He says a 24-day delay for inspections doesn't offer complete security against nuclear development in Iran, and he's concerned about categorizing the country as a nuclear threshold state in ten years.  
"If you believe the Iranian regime may change, then you say, 'Ok, it's a gamble.' But if you think they're going to be the same horrible regime they are now, you don't want the United States and the other nations of the world putting a stamp of approval on Iran being a nuclear threshold state." The deal currently promises Iran relief from sanctions that have devastated the economy, as long as it curbs its nuclear program and submits to inspections for a decade. The senator says he thinks the regime might use that money to cause political problems in the Middle East instead.  
Schumer says he does not believe this position will threaten his leadership role within the Democratic Party.  
The senator says renegotiating would be difficult, but he believes sanctions are strong enough to keep Iran invested in brokering a deal. 
Schumer states but doesn't emphatically argue his points to persuade other Democrats. Schumer said, "A lot of this is a question of judgement. It's a close question . . . I don't begrudge anyone who sees it the other way." - 

(Video courtesy: Bud Lowell)

More than 20 speakers presented arguments to over 10,000 New Yorkers to appeal to Sen. Chuck Schumer and other members of Congress to oppose this initiative at Stop Iran Rally in Times Square July 22, 2015. Jeffrey Wiesenfeld of the Jewish Rapid-Response Coalition emcee'd and opined that it wouldn't be sufficient for Schumer to give a nice speech, then say that others should "vote their conscience." Citizens should demand Schumer, as a likely party leader, should round-up enough votes to over-ride Pres. Obama's veto.

At the press conference in Greece, NY,  Sen. Schumer explained his decision to oppose Obama's Iran proposition. He feels the solution is to try secondary sanctions on Iran. He states- but doesn't emphatically enough argue his points to persuade other Democrats, just as Jeff Wiesenfeld fears. Said Schumer, "A lot of this is a question of judgement. It's a close question . . . I don't begrudge anyone who sees it the other way." 

According to Mike Debonis in the Washington Post's Chuck Schumer isn't actually going to kill the Iran deal:

While virtually every Democratic senator said initially that he or she was undecided on the Iran deal and planned to make a decision only after close study, only a small subset of the Democratic caucus is considered even close to likely to vote against it. 

Those include the eight senators who were early co-sponsors of the legislation establishing a congressional review process for the deal. Of those eight, two have announced support for the deal and only Schumer has declared opposition. (Another Democratic co-sponsor, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, is almost certain to be a no.) 

If no Republicans break ranks to support the deal, deal opponents would have to guarantee each of those undecided Democrats -- Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Michael F. Bennet (Colo.) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) -- maintained their opposition in order to block a Democratic filibuster, or try and recruit from the 12 Democrats who signed on to the Iran review bill only after the White House dropped its opposition. (One of those, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, announced her support of the deal Thursday.) 

Long story short: getting the 67 votes to override a veto would require a monumental feat of persuasion under the current circumstances, and getting the 60 necessary to block a filibuster is hardly assured. 

In "Chuck Schumer, Hero?" in the Wall St. Journal, William McGurn speculates:
To make his mark, Mr. Schumer would have to do more than vote no. He would have to do what Jackson did in his day: To lead, to rally others to his side, and set before the American public an alternative approach for dealing with a determined and untrustworthy enemy. 
Sure, the president and his supporters would howl. They are howling now, and it’s not pretty.   
And sure, it was easier for Scoop Jackson to go up against a president of the other party rather than one from his own. But those who have doubts might ask Jimmy Carter whether Jackson was afraid to buck his own president if he thought it necessary.  
Among the upsides for Mr. Schumer is that he’d be liberated from having to defend policies that he knows leave the world less safe and make war more likely. He would help address the drift of a Democratic Party that booed the mention of Jerusalem at its last convention. Finally, he would be greeted as a hero by a good swath of the American electorate—and rightly so. 
Manifestly, the odds are stacked against Mr. Schumer’s recruiting enough Democratic senators to get to the 67 votes needed to sink the nuclear deal. But it’s no sure thing for the White House, either. Most Americans are skeptical of the agreement; the president’s defenses are proving petulant and unpersuasive; and five weeks remain before a vote. 
Sen. Schumer's playing-down may come as a result of the anti-Israel and Jewish dual-loyalism rhetoric from Pres. Obama on Jewish opponents of his Iran détente. James Taranto addresses comprehensively references to attacks in "Bigotry, Pure and Simple’ - The ugly attacks on Sen. Chuck Schumer" in the Wall St. Journal, 10 Aug

The NY Post editorial of 10 August characterizes the administration's dirty tactics- and the challenge Schumer should rise to: The anti-Semitic drive to silence Schumer on the Iran deal <
... The dual-loyalty smear popped up even before Schumer came out against the deal. A New York Times editorial, for one, talked of the “unseemly spectacle of lawmakers siding with a foreign leader” — Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu — against Obama. 
In fact, it’s Obama who’s siding with foreign leaders: Iran’s. At least Israel’s an ally. 
Schumer still seems to think he can appease the deal’s supporters by not pushing aggressively for its defeat. 
It won’t work. Schumer made a potent case against the deal last week — warning, above all else, that it hands at least $50 billion to an Iranian regime that’s likely to become even more hard-line. 
He also rightly sees this as paving the way for Iran to get nukes via a US-approved process. How is that not a life-or-death matter? 
Sorry, senator: There’s no excuse for not doing everything — everything — possible to stop this madness. And, as the anti-Semitic attacks and other threats suggest, pulling your punches won’t buy you any love from the pro-deal zealots. 
Schumer’s long dreamed of becoming Senate leader. Now’s his chance to show leadership, stand up for what he says are his beliefs, convince fellow senators to nix the deal — and head off a nuclear Iran.

In teleconference, Netanyahu encourages Americans to maintain Iranian sanctions, reject Obama's treaty, pursue safer terms

Netanyahu Urges American Jews to Reject Iranian Nuclear Deal
Israeli Prime Minister said his opposition isn’t partisan and urged Americans to “judge the deal on its substance”   by Felicia Schwartz in the Wall Street Journal Aug 4 2:37 PT

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday urged American Jews to oppose the nuclear deal with Iran, stepping up his campaign to scuttle the agreement ahead of a September congressional deadline to approve or disapprove the accord.

In a webcast speech, he condemned the agreement and called it fatally flawed. He accused the White House and other supporters of spreading incorrect information about the deal and Israel’s position on it.

"This is a very dangerous deal, and it threatens all of us,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “The more people know about the deal, the more the deal’s supporters try to stifle serious debate. They do so with false claims and efforts to delegitimize criticism.”

Watch Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's full anti-Iran deal speech Netanyahu addressing the North American Jewish community, as part of his attempt to thwart the Iran Nuclear Agreement.

Courtesy i24 via iizthatiiz

In a webcast speech, Netanyahu condemned the agreement and called it fatally flawed. He accused the White House and other supporters of spreading incorrect information about the deal and Israel’s position on it. In the speech organized by the Jewish Federations of North America, he said his disagreement with President Barack Obama over the deal isn’t personal and fiercely dismissed the Obama administration’s argument that blocking the deal will lead to war.

“The claim that we oppose this deal because we want war is not just false, it’s outrageous,” he said. More than 10,000 people viewed Mr. Netanyahu’s remarks, which came ahead of a meeting Tuesday between Mr. Obama and Jewish leaders.
The speech was the latest of Mr. Netanyahu’s calls to Americans to oppose an accord that will curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. He said his opposition to the agreement isn’t partisan and urged Americans to “judge the deal on its substance.”