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Columbus Jewish Foundation Executive Committee Statement on the Iran Deal

On August 14, 2015, a majority of the members of the Columbus Jewish Foundation’s Executive Committee voted to make the following statement against the Iran Nuclear Agreement on behalf of the Foundation.

The proposed nuclear deal between Iran and world powers is cause for great concern.  We acknowledge that there are diverse views within our community.   We are sensitive to the ongoing politics, we share the goal of achieving a negotiated peaceful solution to Iran’s nuclear activities, and we are grateful for the efforts of the United States and its allies to arrive at a diplomatic solution.

Yet we are deeply disappointed with the details of the plan. There is simply too much at stake, not only for Israel, but also for the United States and indeed the world, to remain silent about our concerns. Regretfully, we have no choice but to oppose this deal.

The proposed agreement, the success of which is dependent on questionable verification of Iranian compliance, puts Israel and others in harm’s way against a sworn enemy in the world’s most volatile region. As it currently stands, the proposed agreement only serves to delay critical aspects of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, affirming Iran’s place as a threshold nuclear state. We must heed the large, diverse and growing number of independent and nonpartisan experts and organizations who have raised serious concerns since the release of the details of the agreement.

In particular, critical issues have been raised relating to inspections and verification, providing billions of dollars in funds to a terrorist state, weaponization activity, dismantlement of nuclear infrastructure, and the duration of some of the most sensitive components in the agreement. These issues, and the resulting vulnerabilities, are sufficient reasons to let our elected officials know that the existing agreement is too risky to approve and tougher terms will be needed. Therefore, it is critical that we urge their disapproval of the agreement.

The Iranian regime has clearly stated and acted on its desire to wipe Israel off the map by providing potentially devastating and increasingly sophisticated, accurate and powerful missile technology to Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Its intentions were also apparent at public rallies calling for Israel’s destruction and “death to America.” These very real dangers seem to have been ignored in the negotiation to curb Iran’s nuclear weapon-building capacity.

Leaders from across the Israeli political spectrum, from Labor Party head Yitzhak Herzog to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have condemned the proposed deal. In the very short term, lifting sanctions on Iran will likely mean a boon for Hamas and Hezbollah and will provide even more money to fuel even greater Iranian sponsored terrorism around the world.

This is a defining moment.  As Americans, as Jews, and as people who love and support Israel, we are deeply concerned that this agreement leaves the entire Middle East less stable and the entire world more vulnerable to Iran’s radical agenda. We urge our legislators to vote against it.

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