The Iran deal: 10 lessons for American Jewish leaders

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Logo of the Conference of the Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

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Logo of the Conference of the Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

Logo of the Conference of the Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

Logo of the Conference of the Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

In a month’s time, the Iran nuclear deal will be a done deal. Congress will have failed to stop it. President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry will have taken their victory lap.

And the leaders of the American Jewish community? The heads of AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, the Ant-Defamation League, the Conference of the Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, the American Jewish Congress, etc. will be licking their wounds and trying to figure out what happened. Here are 10 lessons I hope they learn.

1. Just because the Israeli prime minister says the sky is falling doesn’t mean we should believe it, especially when the prime minister is Bibi Netanyahu.

2. Just because the Israeli prime minister wants to lead a campaign in Congress doesn’t mean we should join it, especially when the prime minister is Bibi Netanyahu.

3. We should pay attention to former Israeli military and intelligence officials.

4. We should pay attention to current Israeli military assessments.

5. We can’t assume we speak for the American Jewish community, and that includes a lot of rabbis, politicians, and former leaders of our own organizations.

6. It would be a good idea if we found out what the American Jewish community actually thinks before we presume to speak for it.

7. It’s not a good idea for us to exclude Jewish peace organizations from our councils.

8. It’s not a good idea for us to accuse sitting U.S. presidents of anti-Semitism when they are telling the truth.

9. It’s not a good idea for us to take up arms in a war we know we’ll lose.

10. We shouldn’t do this again.

What are the odds these lessons will be learned? A good deal slimmer, I’d say, than the odds the Iranians will abide by the nuclear deal.

  • Susan

    Jewish power and the power of AIPAC is illusory. They can’t win if a president is set against them.