A man holds up a sign as he and several thousand other protestors demonstrate during a rally
A man holds up a sign as he and several thousand other protestors demonstrate during a rally opposing the nuclear deal with Iran in Times Square. (photo credit:REUTERS)


The Anti-Defamation League, one of the American Jewish community’s oldest and most influential advocacy groups, is urging the US Congress to vote against the Iran nuclear agreement.

The organization sent out a press release early Friday outlining the reasons that it says lawmakers should vote “no” on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“The debate today is focused in Congress on ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the Iran deal,” the ADL said. “Given the outstanding questions and our deep reservations about the agreement, we believe Congress should vote no on the deal.”

“At the same time, we believe there is an opportunity for bipartisan collaboration to forge a new path forward,” the organization said.

“Regardless of the outcome of the vote, we have a responsibility to ensure that US policy addresses the ‘day after’ the vote and Iran’s state-sponsored promotion of anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism; its illiberalism at home, aggression in the region and support for terrorism around the world; and its unending litany of threats against America, Israel and other US allies.”

“With this ‘day after’ in mind, we believe the stakeholders – regardless of the outcome of a vote in Congress – should work across the aisle for a more robust approach towards Iran. We need to recognize the strategic challenges posed by Iran and propose to address them with new consensus around a regional strategy, one that reflects our democratic values and highest ideals.”

The ADL has joined other Jewish organizations in voicing criticism of the rhetoric used by President Barack Obama and his administration in arguing for the agreement and denouncing its opponents.

These groups are worried that the president’s particular mention of Israel as a vocal critic of the Iran deal as well as his conflation of opponents of the agreement with those who supported the Iraq War come dangerously close to suggesting that American Jews have placed the interests of Israel above those of their own country.

Leadership from the Anti-Defamation League, both retired and current, has expressed similar worries.

“The administration has not conducted itself in the most edifying way,” said Kenneth Jacobson, deputy national director of the Anti-Defamation League, who called the American University speech “provocative” for singling out Israel’s opposition to the deal. Several Gulf nations, and Saudi Arabia, have issued statements of support, but the president has since acknowledged their private concerns.

“Whatever [the administration] intended to do, they’ve played into a number of tropes in line with anti-Semitism,” Jacobson said. “To me, they have used provocative language that plays into the hands of those that believe that Jews are warmongers with dual loyalties.”

As reported by The Jerusalem Post