26 former American Jewish leaders back Iran deal


(JTA) — Twenty-six former senior leaders of major American Jewish groups have signed a letter supporting the agreement over Iran’s nuclear program.

The letter, which appeared Thursday as a full-page advertisement in The New York Times, says that the negotiators “devoted decades to building and enhancing Israel’s security and strengthening the U.S.-Israel alliance,” and that the agreement “cuts off Iran’s ability to pursue a nuclear weapon.”

The signatories include three former chairs of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, one former executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, former leaders of the Conservative and Reform movements, and former heads of the American Jewish Committee and Jewish Community Relations Council.

The list also includes nine former heads of local Jewish federations, some of which have released statements opposing the deal. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, also signed, as did two former Democratic congressmen, Mel Levine of California and Robert Wexler of Florida.

The advertisement was sponsored by a group called the “No Nukes for Iran Project,” which is headed by Wexler, currently the president of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace. S. Daniel Abraham, the Slim-Fast diet foods magnate, also signed the statement.

The letter raises concerns over the anti-Semitic statements of Iranian leaders and the regime’s sponsorship of terrorist groups, and says the agreement will prevent the regime from becoming more of a threat.

“We remain deeply concerned that Iran is unflinchingly anti-Semitic and an unapologetic state-sponsor of terrorism,” the letter says. “However, a nuclear-armed Iran would be even more dangerous. While not perfect, this deal is the best available option to halt Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”

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