Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

340 Rabbis Urge Congress to Approve Iran Nuclear Deal

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

340 Rabbis Urge Congress to Approve Iran Nuclear Deal

Article excerpt

Rebuffing a campaign among Jewish organizations to scuttle the Iran nuclear deal, 340 rabbis sent a letter to Congress Aug. 17 supporting the agreement and rejecting the notion that most American Jews oppose it.

"Most especially, we are deeply concerned with the impression that the leadership of the American Jewish community is united in opposition to the agreement," the letter states. "We, along with many other Jewish leaders, fully support this historic nuclear accord."

The Jewish community around the world, concentrated in the U.S. and Israel, has paid close attention to the nuclear deal, which was negotiated by the U.S., Iran, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union. It aims to hamper Iran's ability to produce a nuclear weapon and would lift sanctions on the theocratic regime.

Many American Jews, citing Iranian leaders' repeated denunciations of the U.S. and threats to destroy Israel, have concluded that no deal with Iran is a good deal. Several national Jewish organizations, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee --as well as many evangelical Christians --are lobbying Congress to vote it down.

The rabbis who sent the letter Aug. 17 argue that while they have reason to distrust Iran's leaders, the deal is the best available strategy to confront the specter of a nuclear Iran. And they want to challenge assumptions that Jews who oppose the deal represent American Jews as a whole.

"A wide array of views about the nuclear deal exist among American Jews," said Rabbi Rachel Mikva of Chicago, who signed the letter. …

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