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JP Updates: True Torah Jews Concerned of 'Militant' Jewish Opposition to Iran Deal

July 17, 2015


As several Jewish groups are mobilizing opposition to the Iran deal, at least one organization representing the view of many Orthodox Jews, has voiced its concern of American Jewry standing out as opposing the deal reached with Iran on Tuesday.

“We express our sorrow and pain at the fact that the politically extremist mindset of certain Orthodox groups has caused the Torah and Orthodox Jews to be seen in a negative light – as militant and inflexible,” True Torah Jews, a non-profit Orthodox Jewish organization against Zionism, declared in an emailed statement to JP. “These voices against the agreement have been shown in the past to be unproductive, and even they admit that it is doubtful whether they will accomplish what they seek, but they will definitely succeed in portraying American Jews as those who stand in the way of peace.”

The group, representing a view widely shared among the tens of thousands followers of the late Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, recited the phase of Proverbs 21:1, “The heart of a king is like streams of water in the hand of G-d; He directs it wherever He wants it,” as a reason to remain on the sidelines in the battle of minds, just praying “that the outcome of the agreement be the best for America’s wellbeing, peace in the Middle East and security for all of mankind.”

On Wednesday, in a joint statement issued by the Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America, the Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization and its rabbinic membership announced they will be mobilizing opposition among rabbis and synagogues across the United States, in an effort to pressure Democratic House representatives and Senators who are deliberating their support to vote against the agreement.

“Our assessment of the agreement, and of the presentations by government officials and analysts, is driven by one fundamental question: Will the proposed agreement protect the security of the United States, Israel and our other allies? By this standard, we have found the deal with Iran seriously wanting and will mobilize our member rabbis and synagogues throughout the nation to urge Congress to fulfill their mandate and disapprove the agreement,” the OU statement read. “The Orthodox Union and Rabbinical Council of America—through the OU Advocacy Center—will work in the coming weeks to mobilize our rabbis and synagogues across the United States to ensure our elected representatives hear our concerns and fulfill their solemn responsibility to protect and defend our vital national security interests.”

J Street, a liberal pro-Israel advocacy organization, on the other side, announced it is launching a multimillion dollar national campaign to make the administration’s case on the nuclear agreement. The campaign will launch with a 30-second advertisement “highlighting the unprecedented inspections and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear and military sites under the agreement,” according to J Street. The group also plans to bring US and Israeli security and political experts to brief U.S. lawmakers, influential political actors and journalists in Washington, DC and in key states about why this is a good agreement that advances US and Israeli national security interests, as well as activate its 180,000 supporters to register their support for the Iran deal with legislators during the Congressional review period.

Our Sages say, “The entire Torah is peace, as the verse says: Its ways are ways of sweetness, and all its paths are peace. If a man comes home from a trip, one asks after his peace. In the morning and evening, one greets another with the word peace. In our prayers we say that G-d spreads out His canopy of peace. Our silent prayers end with the word peace, and the Priestly Blessing ends with the word peace.”