What our columnists are saying about the Iran deal

"Beating the Drums of Peace," a cartoon on the Iran nuclear deal. Credit: FeinTooner. 

’Tis the season for op-eds in the Jewish community!

Not surprisingly, ever since the July 14 announcement of a nuclear deal with Iran, opinions about the agreement have been inundating the media and other public fora. JNS.org has been no exception to the rule. Click the linked headlines below to read what our columnists have been saying about the Iran deal. (And something tells me there's more to come.)

BEN COHEN, weekly JNS.org columnist, TheTower.org senior editor

The Iran deal’s defining pattern: the more you know, the less you trustWhen it comes to the deal agreed to a fortnight ago in Vienna over Iran’s nuclear program, there’s a pattern evolving that should be worrying the Obama administration: the more you know about it, the less you like it. The current agreement fails to address painfully large holes in the inspection regime, and a better deal means getting Iran to accept the “anytime, anywhere” principle on inspections. A better deal also means getting absolute clarification on the existence of concealed nuclear facilities, as well as a candid and honest account of Iran’s past nuclear activities—chiefly, the military aspects of such work. During this long, hot summer, the American people should tell those whom they elect that they are no longer prepared to accept the false choice of “take this deal or risk another war,” writes Cohen.

Hey @TheIranDeal, I have some questions—actually, lots of them: Cohen offers 12 questions—and that just scratches the surface—for the White House’s new @TheIranDeal Twitter handle, which the Obama administration says will try to “set the record straight” on the nuclear agreement between world powers and the Islamic Republic. For everyone else, Cohen suggests: keep blitzing @TheIranDeal with questions. Keep demanding answers. Just because they are silent, it doesn’t mean they aren’t listening.

World powers’ surrender on Iran deal reverberates most immediately in Syria: World powers’ surrender in Vienna on the newly announced nuclear deal with Iran reverberates most immediately in Syria. President Bashar al-Assad’s most powerful backers are now Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, assisted by the notorious Qods Force and various intelligence agencies. Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’a terrorist group, is also engaged in combat on behalf of Assad. Even Shi’a militias from Iraq, like the Kata’ib Hezbollah, have been imported into Syria by the Iranians. Imagine what they can do—and will do—when billions of dollars of sanctions relief make their way into Tehran’s coffers after the signing of this nuclear deal, writes Cohen.

DANNY DANON, Israeli minister of technology, science and space

After Iran deal, supporters of Israel have practical steps at their disposal: In addition to Israel relying on itself for its own security, there are a number of practical steps that global supporters of the Jewish state can take to improve the bad situation surrounding the Iran deal. While the nuclear accord may have been signed in Vienna, the agreement now moves to the U.S. Congress and to the court of public opinion. There is much the pro-Israel community can do to influence the agreement’s implementation and perhaps even its actual content, writes Danon.

STEPHEN M. FLATOW, father of victim of Palestinian terrorism Alisa Flatow

Obama’s record on Palestinians a clue to how he’ll handle Iran deal breaches: One of the major issues in the debate over the Iran deal revolves around the question of what will happen if international inspectors want to visit a particular nuclear site, and the Iranians say no. But an equally important consideration is: What will happen if Iranian violations are actually discovered? The Obama administration’s handling of Palestinian violations of agreements they’ve signed offers a clue as to how it will respond to Iranian breaches, writes Flatow, an attorney whose daughter Alisa was killed in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terror attack in 1995.

CHARLES JACOBS and ELLIOTT HAMILTON of Americans for Peace and Tolerance

It’s time to evict J Street from the Jewish communal tent: In an almost unprecedented moment for American Jewry, the majority of prominent Jewish organizations have lined up in order to combat the Iran nuclear deal. Amid this historic display of unity, J Street has been the outlier, vigorously campaigning in support of the deal. With the nuclear issue putting Israel and the Jewish people in a life-threatening situation, now is the time for Jewish leaders who care about unity and who care about Jewish life to show J Street their communal tent’s exit flap, write Jacobs and Hamilton.

SARAH STERN, president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth

The Obama administration’s betrayal on Iran: Americans were assured by the Obama administration that there would be “anytime/anywhere inspections” of Iran's nuclear program. But the recently signed nuclear deal requires up to 24 days of advance notice before inspectors enter nuclear sites. Americans were told that sanctions would be lifted gradually, commensurate with Iran’s commitments. Yet Iran is now receiving a swift and unconditional windfall of $150 billion in sanctions relief. The nuclear agreement is appeasement, bordering on capitulation and treason, writes Stern.

NATHAN MOSKOWITZ, author and political cartoonist

Will ‘accountant of Auschwitz’ verdict resonate for present dangers like Iran?: Moskowitz and his family played a role in bringing 94-year-old Oskar Groening, the “accountant of Auschwitz,” to justice. But Moskowitz wonders if the guilty verdict for Groening will spur contemporary society to properly combat the genocidal madmen of the present day.

Posted on July 29, 2015 .