Israeli diplomat: Don’t count on U.S. Jews to unify against Iran deal


WASHINGTON (JTA) — A top Israeli diplomat in the United States wrote his superiors to warn that they cannot count on the U.S. Jewish community to oppose the Iran nuclear deal.

“At this crucial point of the Iranian issue – which for years has been at the core of Israeli foreign policy and was described countless times by the Israeli leadership as an existential threat – the Jewish community in the United States is not standing as a united front behind Israel and important parts of it are on the fence,” Yaron Sideman, the consul general in Philadelphia, wrote in a memo to Israel’s Foreign Ministry obtained by Haaretz on Thursday.

Sideman quoted a federation CEO as saying that campaigning against the deal could alienate the White House and Democrats, which could inhibit Jewish organizational influence.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee and at least eight regional federations oppose the July 14 sanctions relief for nuclear restrictions deal, heeding Israel’s government, which says the deal endangers Israel.

However, a broad number of national groups have yet to pronounce on the deal one way or the other, although there is pressure to do so while Congress has until mid-to-late September to decide whether to stop or accept the deal.

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