ZOA Criticizes J Street’s Support For Easing Iran Sanctions

ZOA Criticizes J Street’s Support For Easing Iran Sanctions

Contact: David Drimer, 212-481-1500

NEW YORK, November 21 — The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has strongly criticized the extreme leftwing, George Soros-funded, faux pro-Israel group, J Street, for supporting the easing of sanctions on Iran and shamelessly attacking virtually every other American Jewish organization for “undermining” the efforts of the Obama Administration to arrive at a nuclear deal with Iran.

J Street has claimed that “the outcome of the talks set to resume in Geneva on November 20 is far from certain, but new sanctions will definitively bring the process to a halt” and urged people to tell U.S. senators that “now is not the time for new sanctions.” It has also claimed falsely that “some American Jewish organizations are pushing new sanctions that will undoubtedly undermine negotiations” (‘TELL YOUR SENATORS: DON’T UNDERMINE IRAN NEGOTIATIONS WITH NEW SANCTIONS,’ J Street Petition).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “J Street is supporting an approach that is harmful to the vital security interests of both the United States and Israel.

“Last week, the Obama Administration sought to finalize a deal with Iran that, if agreed upon by all parties to the talks, would enable Tehran to retain all the essential elements of its nuclear weapons program:

  1. To continue operating its plutonium reactor;
  2. Keep all its centrifuges;
  3. Maintain its uranium enrichment program at 3.5% enrichment — enough, given Iran’s recent, hugely expanded number of centrifuges, to become a “break-out” nuclear state; &
  4. Maintain without any limitations its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program, which already enables Iran to strike Israel and Europe and, within a few years, to strike the U.S. as well.

“A deal that gives Iran relief from sanctions while allowing it to keep essential elements, not for a nuclear energy program, but for a nuclear weapons program, is a terrible deal.

“J Street is also wrong in its assertion that further sanctions would harm the prospects of a diplomatic solution.

“Maintaining sanctions is one of the few things that could induce the Iranian regime to stop its nuclear program. Weakening them not only sends the wrong signal, one of weakness and lack of will, which will encourage Iranian intransigence — after all, why concede when your opponent is already weakening? — but will also enable Iran to more swiftly attain its nuclear weapons objective relatively unscathed.

“Why would J Street want that? Israelis certainly do not want that. An Israel Hayom poll last Friday showed that Israeli Jews opposed the deal being proposed in Geneva by a clear 66% to 16%.

“It is nothing new for J Street to adopt polices opposed by the majority of Israelis and American Jews. To name a few:

  • American Jews, as shown in several surveys, not least the American Jewish Committee 2011 Survey of American Jewish Opinion, overwhelmingly believe (76%) that the goal of Israel’s Arab neighbors “is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel”; reject Israeli concessions on Jerusalem (59%); and oppose the creation of a Palestinian state (55%). J Street, in contrast, supports all these positions.
  • Israelis do not believe that the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel will solve the conflict with the Palestinians (by 45% to 40% – Geocartography Poll, January 2012) — J Street does.
  • An overwhelming 70% of Israelis do not believe that it possible to reach a solution to the dispute with the Palestinians in the near future (70% to 25% – Channel 2 Poll, December 2012) — J Street does.
  • Israelis, including even the far left Meretz party, overwhelmingly supported Operation Cast Lead in Gaza against Hamas in 2008-9 by a 3-to-1 margin, according to a Haaretz survey – J Street opposed it and called for an early ceasefire before Israel had seriously degraded Hamas forces and munitions.
  • Israelis opposed the biased UN Goldstone Report, which purported to have found Israel guilty of human rights violations and war crimes during Operation Cast Lead — J Street refused to condemn it. it also subsequently emerged that a letter purportedly written by Judge Richard Goldstone to criticize a House of Representative resolution condemning the Goldstone report  was substantially written by Morton H. Halperin, who serves on the J Street advisory council and is a senior adviser at Open Society Institute, a body created by the well-known self-confessed anti-Zionist billionaire, George Soros.
  • Israelis oppose engaging the terrorist group Hamas — Hamas supports engaging it.”
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