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ZOA: Majority of 340 Pro-Iran Deal Rabbis are from J St & Other Israel-Hostile Groups

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Zionist Organization of America
News Release

ZOA Analysis Shows “340 Rabbis For Iran Deal” Are From Groups Hostile to
Israel, Including J Street (Which Works With Apparent Iranian Regime Group
NIAC), BDS Group “Jewish Voice for Peace,” and Israel-Bashing “Rabbis for
Human Rights”

94% of U.S. Rabbis Did NOT Sign Pro-Iran Deal Statement, While American Jews
Oppose Deal by 2-1, Israelis 7-1, and All Americans by 2-1

NEW YORK, August, 18, 2015 — The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA)’s
analysis shows that the overwhelming majority of the “340 Rabbis for Iran
Deal” come from groups that routinely take positions and engage in
activities that are hostile towards Israel and inimical to American
interests. The “340 Rabbis for Iran Deal” are a small fringe group. There
are over 5,000 Rabbis in the United States. In other words, 94% of American
Rabbis did not sign the statement supporting the Iran deal.

The majority of the Iran Deal Rabbis come from the Soros-funded J Street.
(George Soros is a self-described anti-Zionist billionaire.) Liberal
Professor Alan Dershowitz explained that J Street “always seems to be taking
positions that are anti-Israel.” J Street U’s new student board president is
an anti-Israel Muslim.

J Street has financial and other ties to the National Iranian American
Council (NIAC), an apparent arm of the Iranian regime. Dissident journalist
Hassan Daioleslam revealed that NIAC serves as a lobbying group for Iran,
and that NIAC’s president and founder, Trita Parsi, has a long-term close
relationship with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. J Street’s
financial filings revealed that J Street’s initial funders included NIAC
board member Genevieve Lynch. J Street’s first national conference held an
Iran panel with NIAC head Trita Parsi and Iran apologist Hillary Mann
Leverett, who insisted that no sanctions be placed on Iran. At the J Street
event, Leverett also condemned anyone who did not trust the Iranian regime
as “reinforcing stereotypes of Iranian duplicitousness” and asserted that
such “stereotypes” of Iran’s Mullahs were “fundamentally racist.” Leverett
also compared Iran’s mullahs to Israeli rabbis. See Trouble on J-Street, by
James Kirchick.

J-Street has a long history of supporting the Iran regime’s interests over
those of America and Israel. For instance, J Street lobbied Congresspersons
to simply “believe in Iran” – despite the Iranian regime’s responsibility
for murdering hundreds of Americans, Israelis and others, and history of
undeclared sites for carrying on its nuclear weapons program. Former
Congressman Allen West, who noted that J-Street was a “Pro-Palestinian
Jewish organization,” related that J-Street told him that he should just
“believe in Iran.”

In addition, several months ago, J Street ran and touted a phony poll to
falsely claim that Jews support the Iran deal. The poll asked about a
hypothetical Iran deal that would only give Iran “modest relief from
sanctions,” and that would only reduce sanctions gradually as Iran met
compliance benchmarks, in exchange for enrichment restrictions to civilian
use and full time inspectors at Iran’s nuclear facilities “to make sure Iran
is not developing nuclear weapons.” This loaded polling question is a far
cry from the actual Iran deal, which gives hundreds of billions of dollars
of sanctions relief and economic windfalls to Iran, allows enrichment in
excess of the amounts needed for civilian use, and delays and places all
sorts of roadblocks in the way of obtaining inspections of Iran’s undeclared
nuclear activities. In addition, no Americans are allowed to inspect
Iranian facilities, and inspectors must first be approved by Iran officials
before they can even enter Iran.

Moreover, Ameinu (which is the group promoting the “340 Rabbis for Iran
Deal”) is closely tied to J Street. Ameinu appears to be serving as a front
group for J Street here – since J Street has been so discredited. Ameinu
National President Kenneth Bob doubles as J Street’s Treasurer. Ameinu
Vice President and Executive Committee Chair Judith Gelman is a member of J
Street’s Montgomery County, MD steering committee. Ameinu and J Street
recently ran together on the same election slate.

Other “340 Iran Deal Rabbis” include a board member of Jewish Voice for
Peace (JVP). JVP is featured on the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) list of
the “Top 10 Anti-Israel Groups in America,” and actively promotes
anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

The Iran Deal Rabbis also include over a dozen significant contributors to
the so-called “Rabbis for Human Rights” (RHR). RHR participates in
anti-Israel demonstrations and, along with other anti-Israel groups,
launched a website with false testimonies accusing Israel of human rights
violations in Gaza. ZOA members witnessed an RHR Rabbi invent and widely
publish false stories to demonize pro-Israel young people at the Israel Day
Parade Concert in New York several years ago.

ZOA’s comparison of the names and locations on the 340 “Rabbis for Iran
Deal” list with lists published on the websites of hostile-to-Israel groups
showed the following:

187 (the majority) of the Iran Deal Rabbis are members of the “J Street
Rabbinic Cabinet.”

12 of the Iran Deal Rabbis are members of the “J Street Rabbinic Cabinet
Executive Council”

The Iran Deal Rabbis also include 2 (out of 3) of the J Street cabinet’s

13 of the Iran Deal Rabbis are significant donors to the falsehood-purveying
“Rabbis for Human Rights.”

Iran Deal Rabbi Linda Holtzman is on the Board of Directors of the
anti-Israel BDS group, “Jewish Voice for Peace.” Rabbi Holtzman is known
as a “pioneer lesbian Rabbi.” As a homosexual, she should be the first to
condemn Iran’s horrendous human rights record, which includes Iran’s brutal
executions of hundreds of innocent individuals for the sole reason that they
are gay. Incredibly, she is fostering a deal that will give the Iranian
regime hundreds of billions of dollars to continue its brutal oppression of
gays and minorities.

Iran Deal Rabbi Arthur Waskow states that the people at the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are “people I trust and admire and
respect.” CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation
case (the case against groups that sent funding to Hamas). CAIR is also
among the top groups that ADL has frequently condemned for its anti-Israel

ZOA President Morton A. Klein stated:

“The Rabbis signing the Ameinu letter do not in any way represent the
viewpoint of American Rabbis. To only be able to get 6% of U.S. rabbis to
sign this statement supporting the catastrophic Iran deal clearly indicates
that Rabbinic leaders are deeply concerned about the Iran nuclear deal.
This is especially true when 75% of American Jews voted for President Obama.
More importantly, reliable polls show tremendous opposition to the Iran
deal. The Quinnipiac poll shows that Americans oppose this dangerous deal
by a margin of 2 to 1, and the Israel Project poll shows that American Jews
also oppose the Iran deal by the same 2 to 1 margin. In addition, a poll
conducted this week by Israel’s Channel 10, reported in the liberal Israeli
newspaper Haaretz, shows that Israelis oppose the Iran deal by a margin of 7
to 1.”

“Almost every major Jewish and pro-Israel group strongly opposes this
disastrous Iran deal. These major groups opposed to the Iran deal include:
the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC); the Anti-Defamation
League (ADL); the Zionist Organization of America; the American Jewish
Committee; the American Jewish Congress; B’nai Brith; Christians United for
Israel (CUFI); the Orthodox Union; over 100 organizations who are members of
the Coalition; and Jewish Federations across the country
including in Los Angeles, Boston, Miami, Houston, Phoenix, Chicago, New
York, and many more.”

About the ZOA
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is the oldest and one of the
largest pro-Israel organizations in the United States. With offices around
the country and in Israel, the ZOA educates the public, elected officials,
the media, and college/high school students about the truth of the ongoing
Arab war against Israel. The ZOA works to strengthen U.S.- Israel relations
through educational activities, public affairs programs and our work on
Capitol Hill, and to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias in the media,
in textbooks, in schools and on college campuses. Under the leadership of
such presidents as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, Rabbi Abba Hillel
Silver, and current President Morton A. Klein, the ZOA has been – and
continues to be – on the front lines of Jewish activism. For
more information contact Mort Klein 212-481-1500.


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