You'd never know from AIPAC's furious campaign to derail the Iran nuclear agreement that three dozen retired American generals and admirals from every branch of the armed services released an open letter a few days ago supporting the Iran agreement, calling it, "....the most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.” Signers included Navy Rear Admiral Harold Robinson (Retired), a rabbi and former naval chaplain.Signers included Navy Rear Admiral Harold Robinson (Retired), a rabbi and former naval chaplain who in a recent interview made clear that he is “a lifelong Zionist” and wanted to speak out now to show that “those of us who love Israel in the United States are not of one mind and one voice on this matter.”
You'd never guess from reading the anti-deal "Fact Sheets" and policy "Memos" AIPAC is circulating that 29 eminent American nuclear scientists -- among them many Nobel Laureates -- recently issued an open letter endorsing the deal and stating that the Iran agreement is important and should be passed by Congress. Or that prominent members of Israel's security establishment, including former heads of Israeli intelligence agencies, have come out in support of the deal, putting them on a collision course with their own Prime Minister. These veteran Israeli national security leaders feel so strongly that they're willing to go public with their considered judgment - but you won't hear about that from AIPAC or the Israel Project.
And you certainly wouldn't guess – from reading AIPAC's fundraising letters and emails - that America's Arab allies in the Gulf States have signaled their approval of the deal. You would never know that all of America's allies around the world - except for Israel - support the deal. Or that all of our key allies - and Israel’s key allies - in Europe energetically support the agreement and are pressing Congress not to kill it. Or that polls show strong American Jewish support for the deal - even stronger than among the general population.
AIPAC and its allies are playing hard-ball on this one, and that's their right. But we know they are advocating the wrong position - a position that is bad for the U.S. and bad for Israel. And we have the right and the obligation to push back as hard as we can.
- We have to ensure that the voices of real, sober experts are not drowned out by the shrill voices of partisan and ideological pundits and lobbyists – many of whose voices led the chorus that got us into the war in Iraq.
- We have to counter the massive disinformation campaign being mounted by AIPAC and other hawkish groups, educating the public and especially members of Congress to understand how truly widespread and deep support for the deal is among people who really know what they are talking about.
- We have to call out as fantasy the notion that if this deal falls apart, a better deal is available down the road. We have to make people understand that while this is not a perfect deal - because that is the nature of negotiations, requiring give and take from all parties - it is a very good deal indeed. It will verifiably roll back Iran's nuclear program, curb its nuclear activities, and prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. We need to make sure people understand that if this deals falls apart before it even gets off the ground, all bets are off. We need to make sure people understand that the alternative to this deal is not a "better deal" but no deal, and if there is no deal, then sooner rather than later there will almost certainly be war.
- We have to cry foul at the outrageous suggestion that, in disagreeing with AIPAC and Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Obama - or any critic of the Iran deal - is engaging in or supporting anti-Semitism.
- And above all, we have to do everything we can to mobilize our supporters - and get them to mobilize their friends, families, and social networks - to contact their representatives and senators in Washington to let them know, definitively, that there is massive support for the President on this one.
We aren’t AIPAC. We're not as big. We don't have nearly the same financial resources. But we have never been afraid to disagree with AIPAC.
- We have established APN as an essential resource for accurate and comprehensive information about the Iran Deal. If you have not already done so, please go to our Iran Deal Resource Page. Check out all of our Iran resources, including our compendium of quotes from Israeli national security leaders, statements from members of Congress who support the deal, and our collection of the analysis about the deal and related issues. Use these resources to educate and empower yourself, so that you can be a more effective advocate for the deal. Share them on social media and with your friends.
- We are generating original analysis and commentary. Check out articles by APN board members here, here, here, and here. And check out this article I wrote - calling out Senator Schumer (D-NY) and several other Jewish members for opposing the deal - published in the Hill.
- We are getting our message to Capitol Hill. APN is in contact with key congressional offices, making sure they have the information they need to make an educated decision about the agreement. And APN has mobilized thousands of activists across the country to call their elected officials to urge them to do the right thing and support the deal.
All of this important work requires a great deal of effort and money, and will require more of both in the coming period as we near the finish line - the congressional vote on the deal, the President's veto, and the congressional effort to overturn that veto. We know that AIPAC and like-minded Jewish groups will continue to ramp up their orchestrated, massively-funded disinformation campaign to kill the deal. We will ramp up our own efforts – to promote the facts and counter the anti-deal spin – too.
In taking this leading role in fighting for the deal, we are standing up for and with you - APN friends and supporters who know that this deal is critically important for both the U.S. and for Israel. But we need you to stand up for and with us, too. Please support our efforts, and please dig deep, because the stakes are very high -- for Israel, for the U.S, for the world. Your tax-deductible contribution helps us do all we are doing to support the Iran deal, and will help us to do more.
Director of Policy and Government Relations
Americans for Peace Now
PS – It is critical that we expand the circle of people who are knowledgeable and are standing up to AIPAC and for the Iran deal. We urge you to share APN’s resources - and, please, this fundraising plea – with your friends and family members, and on your social networks. The more people know about the deal, the better. And the more people know, we believe, the more they will see how important it is to support our efforts on their behalf.