Jewish Groups Back Away From All-Out Fight Over Iran Nuclear Deal

Seek To Influence Final Pact, Despite Israel Opposition

getty images

By Nathan Guttman

Published November 27, 2013, issue of December 06, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

American Jewish organizations have taken a step back from the barricades in the emergent conflict between Israel and the United States over the interim agreement with Iran on its contested nuclear program.

Even as Israel has fiercely attacked the agreement, signed by the United States and five other countries with Iran, the Jewish organizations have carefully sought a middle ground between Israel and America in their dispute over the six-month accord. The groups’ nuanced approach has extended even to their positioning on a final, comprehensive agreement that the parties hope to negotiate with Iran by the end of the interim agreement’s term.

By and large, mainstream pro-Israel organizations have accepted the six-month accord as a fait accompli. Most notably, they have backed down from attempts to get Congress to pass new economic sanctions against Iran during this period, a move the Obama administration warned would derail the interim nuclear deal. That was a development that the Jewish groups apparently decided they did not wish to be held responsible for.

The groups’ main focus is instead now directed at shaping the final accord between Iran and the group of six world powers negotiating with it to ensure Tehran’s civilian nuclear program cannot be used to create nuclear weapons. But here too, Jewish organizations are carrying out a difficult balancing act, trying to push the administration to impose the toughest possible conditions on Iran, but stopping short of posing demands that would be seen as making such an agreement impossible.

“We pray that the best intentions and hopes of those United States and Western officials who struck this deal are realized and that our skepticism and fears are misplaced,” said the Orthodox Union in a statement reflecting the general mood in the pro-Israel community. “Nothing short of the lives of millions of innocents hang in the balance.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Sigal Samuel's family amulet isn't just rumored to have magical powers. It's also a symbol of how Jewish and Indian rituals became intertwined over the centuries. http://jd.fo/a3BvD Only three days left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.