"Make peace," she said...

As part of a group of non-Israeli academics assembled by Tel Aviv University, I visited the Temple Mount in July 2017. On the next day, two Israeli border police officers were shot there in a terror attack. I had the opportunity to make a condolence visit to Hurfeish, the Druze village in the Galilee from which the two policemen (who were cousins) hailed. In the intimate setting of the room in which female relatives were mourning, I told an aunt of the slain men that I was coming to work for the American sister organization of Shalom Achshav and wanted to help in any way I could.

She looked at me, grief-stricken and weary, and said, "Make peace."

A month later, I joined Americans for Peace Now as Policy Director. My path to APN was not conventional. I am a political scientist and Middle East politics expert by training. I came to APN following ten years of teaching at America’s second-oldest university (the College of William and Mary), as a specialist in foreign policies of Arab states. I never aspired to work for a Jewish organization. But with a mother who was born in a refugee camp in Germany in 1946 and as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, my Jewish identity is a core part of who I am and Israel has always been a central piece of that identity. Related to that is the abiding commitment I’ve made throughout my life to public service.

I left the Ivory Tower and came to work for APN in August 2017, when the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace weren’t exactly heating up. Am I a little nuts? Possibly. But no more so than the right-wing settlers who picked up their game when it looked like the Oslo process would defeat them. It’s precisely when the odds are against us that we must redouble our commitment—and put our energy and money where our ideals are, as our opponents do. We must do more than look for hope; we must generate it ourselves.

Like the Druze of Hurfeish and our brave comrades at Peace Now in Israel who can’t and won’t walk away, I am committed. I am hopeful. I feel privileged to represent you and our shared two-state, pro-Israel, pro-peace agenda – whether I’m working with Congressional staff, debating spokesmen for the settlers on Israeli TV, writing for Haaretz, authoring a report on annexation, or equipping passionate college students with the knowledge they need to be effective advocates.

If you haven’t yet made your end-of-year gift to APN please do so now, and give generously. We know you don’t have the bottomless resources of Sheldon Adelson. But if all of our supporters step up their game, my talented colleagues and I can do so much more to fight for an Israel unburdened by occupation: democratic, at peace, closer to our values, and a national home for the Jewish people.

Happy New Year to all!

With best wishes,

Debra Shushan, PhD
APN Director of Policy and Government Relations

A poll just released by the University of Maryland under the direction of Professor Shibley Telhami should capture the attention of the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli public. The following is a summary of the key findings of the poll:

  • IF A TWO-STATE SOLUTION TO THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT IS NOT AN OPTION: A large majority of Americans favors a democratic Israel with citizenship and full rights for all (64%) over a Jewish Israel in which Palestinians are disenfranchised (26%). This preference was particularly strong among Democrats (78% to 12%). Even a plurality of Republicans (48% to 42%) shares this view.
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A poll published today yet again confirms that – just like Americans for Peace Now – a majority of American Jews are critical of Israeli government policies, even as they support Israel. The poll, conducted this month by the Mellman Group, finds that a solid majority (59 percent) of Jewish voters are pro-Israel and critical of at least some of Israeli government policies. Only 32 percent indicated that they are “pro-Israel and supportive of policies.” Three percent reported that they are “generally not pro-Israel.”

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It has become axiomatic that a widening schism exists in relations between Israel and Diaspora Jewry. Relations with American Jews (who constitute over 70% of Diaspora Jewry) are increasingly fraught. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems unperturbed. After all, who needs American Jews when (in his view) evangelical Christians are better friends to Israel? Against that backdrop, Israelis who are concerned about the rift, like former IDF spokesperson Peter Lerner, deserve kudos.
Unfortunately, the proposals Lerner advances in his recent piece (“4 Things Israel Can Do To Heal The Divide With The Diaspora”) are woefully inadequate. Lerner focuses on tools the Israeli government could use to pull Diaspora Jews closer to Israel. These include well-worn ideas like de-emphasizing Aliya and focusing instead on spreading awareness of Jewish culture and offering Hebrew classes in the Diaspora – this time through a new NGO dubbed the Jewish World Alliance. He envisions a new Jewish Global Assembly, convened annually to discuss challenges and opportunities; the creation of “global virtual meeting place” for Jews worldwide; and programs for young Jews in Israel and the Diaspora to cultivate relationships.

It is not tools — new organizations and programming — that are lacking. It is a willingness to listen to Diaspora Jews and change course from policies and attitudes which repel us.

As a whole, we hold a deep affinity for Israel. According to a 2018 American Jewish Committee survey, 70% of US Jews feel that “caring about Israel is a very important part of my being a Jew.” Similarly, 79% believe a “thriving State of Israel is vital for the long-term future of the Jewish people.” While we are loyal American citizens and (with few exceptions) have no intention of making Aliyah, many of us regard Israel as the state in which our national self-determination is realized. To a growing number, sadly, it feels like Israel is pushing us away.

If Israel cares to bridge the gap, what should it do?

Learn to Tolerate (and Appreciate) Critical Engagement

Through its 2017 Entry Law that denies entry to Israel by those who promote boycotts against Israel (defined to include boycotts against Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories), Israel conveyed clearly that it has a political litmus test for admission to Israel.

The uptick in Shin Bet interrogations at Ben-Gurion Airport of American Jews who support Palestinian rights — including avowed Zionists like Peter Beinart and Meyer Koplow — shows that Israel is moving in the wrong direction.

While many Diaspora Jews maintain a love for Israel, we are increasingly shedding an Israel-right-or-wrong attitude in favor of critical engagement.

Israel can harass or even ban us. But if Israelis care about the Diaspora, we must be able to engage each other.

Work for Palestinian Statehood and an End to the Occupation

Lerner emphasizes listening to young people, and rightly so. But Israel must be prepared to hear them.

What young Jews joining J Street U chapters on campuses and starting organizations like IfNotNow in the US and Na’amod: British Jews Against the Occupation are saying is that their Jewish values and love for Israel inspire them to work for Palestinian human rights and an end to the Occupation.

While Israel is not solely to blame for lack of peace with Palestinians, as long as the Netanyahu government pushes toward annexing the West Bank and maintains a punitive closure of Gaza, the drift from Israel by young Diaspora Jews will continue.

Respect Non-Orthodox Streams of Judaism

Only 11% of American Jews classify themselves as Haredi or Modern Orthodox, with the rest identifying with different denominations or as “other.” An overwhelming majority of American Jews believe Israel should respect religious pluralism. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s cancelation of an agreement to create a mixed-gender prayer area adjacent to the Western Wall and the recent arrest of a Conservative rabbi in Haifa for performing a wedding exacerbate the Israel-Diaspora divide.

The decision by lawmakers to leave out of the new Nation-State Law language which would have acknowledged a role for world Jewry in Israel was yet another swipe at Diaspora Jews.

Taking steps toward recognition of religious pluralism would go a long way toward earning the good will of Diaspora Jews.

Affirm Social Justice and Democracy as Shared Values

Minority status is part and parcel of the Diaspora Jewish experience. Liberal democratic protections of minority rights and civil liberties are dear to American Jews and dovetail with the Judaism on which we were raised, which emphasizes social justice and tikkun olam.

The undeniable erosion of liberal democracy in Israel is raising alarm not only among political progressives but also by conservatives like Ron Lauder, a longtime Netanyahu supporter, who recently decried actions by members of Israel’s coalition government to “unintentionally undermine the covenant between Judaism and enlightenment.”

Disturbing efforts by the Israeli government to curtail freedom of speech regarding Israel on American college campuses in the name of combating Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions teach young Diaspora Jews that Israel’s growing illiberalism doesn’t stop at its border. And that does not bode well for future Diaspora-Jewish relations.

Stop Coddling Foreign Leaders Who Endanger Diaspora Jews

What message does it send to American Jews, the majority of whom disapprove of Donald Trump and feel our status is less secure since he became president, when Netanyahu lionizes Trump by comparing him to Cyrus the Great?

It is a similar message to the one received by Hungarian Jews when Netanyahu engages in an “illiberal bromance” with their Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who made anti-Semitic attacks on George Soros a feature of his re-election campaign.

While Israeli leaders should conduct foreign policy in Israel’s national interests, they should do so with an eye to the security and sensitivities of Diaspora Jewish communities.

Diaspora Jews care greatly about Israel and are distressed over the growing Israel-Diaspora rift. Some have come to the conclusion that Israel just doesn’t care about us. So it’s encouraging to find Israelis like Peter Lerner for whom ties to the Diaspora still matter a great deal.

The question is: Will Israel listen to our concerns and meet us halfway?

This article appeared first on the Forward on August 23, 2018

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APN's Debra Shushan in Ha'aretz: "The Day Donald Trump Was Crowned King in Jerusalem"

Along with many other U.S. Jews, I wanted to feel pride at the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. But amid the carnage in Gaza, I felt nausea

Debra Shushan | May 16, 2018 | 

For Jews around the world, the opening of the U.S. embassy to Israel in Jerusalem should have been an occasion for jubilation and pride. And while for some it was, many of the rest of us watched the ceremony feeling a combination of nausea and cognitive dissonance.

There were at least three reasons to feel ill.

The first and most obvious is that the ceremony took place yesterday against the backdrop of carnage in Gaza.

While American and Israeli officials congratulated themselves in Jerusalem, denizens of the open-air prison which Israel continues to occupy (through its control of air, sea, and land routes out of Gaza and even of its population registry) were being shot to death by the dozens.

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The White House says it wants to help Gaza. So it punitively cuts aid to desperate Gazans, adopts one-sided policies in Israel's favor – then blames the Palestinians for 'politicizing' humanitarian assistance.

Two conferences held last week underlined the Trump Administration’s combination of bad faith and ineptitude in addressing Gaza’s severe humanitarian crisis.

The first one, convened by the White House, was dubbed a "brainstorming session" on Gaza by Trump’s special representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt. At the outset, Greenblatt enjoined participants to "leave all politics at the door" in order to help Gaza.

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Trump has consistently privileged the Israeli narrative and claims over those of the Palestinians. In his Jerusalem decision he also helped the destructive, unnecessary transformation of the conflict from a political to a religious struggle.

Mae Elise Cannon, Yahya Hendi, and Debra Shushan

President Trump’s decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and commence moving the US embassy was harmful enough.

And still, he has managed – repeatedly – to make it worse. In the latest development, the State Department announced last week that a provisional U.S. embassy in Jerusalem will open on May 14, timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment.

The Trump Administration’s original decision was fatally flawed.

In the absence of a final settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which Palestinian claims to Jerusalem are addressed, the decision was blatantly one-sided. American credibility as an honest broker plummeted, Trump’s avowed goal of reaching the "ultimate deal" was set back, and the United Nations, the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and His Holiness Pope Francis condemned the new policy.

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American Jews shouldn't take their cue from an Israeli left which is veering rightwards and indoctrinated by the false slogan of an 'eternal and undivided Jerusalem'. Trump's move sabotaged peace, and we U.S. Jews must push back against it

If President Donald Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem had a silver lining, for me it is this: many progressive, pro-Israel American Jews saw Trump’s gambit as the narrowly self-serving, reckless move it was, and rejected it

For this reason, I read with great interest the recent Haaretz op-ed by Rabbi Eric Yoffie, a former president of the Union for Reform Judaism (U.S. Liberal Jews Read It Wrong. Trump’s Call on Jerusalem Was Good for the Peace Camp).

An ardent Trump critic, Yoffie’s "default position is to resist every word on foreign affairs that comes out of [Trump’s] mouth." So what brought Yoffie to conclude that President Trump’s new Jerusalem policy is “generally responsible”?

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Friedman's recent comments show the 'moderate' positions he adopted during his nomination were entirely fake. How can the U.S. ambassador to Israel smear opponents, act as a representative of Israel's settlers and misrepresent U.S. policy?

America has a problem in Tel Aviv.

The U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has politicized his diplomatic office and misrepresented U.S. policy on Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. In the process, he is causing real damage to our country’s interests in the region.

Ambassador Friedman has been, to say the least, a controversial figure since before he emerged as President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to serve as US ambassador to Israel. By now, he has provided ample reasons to conclude that he should be fired.

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APN Backgrounder: What You Need to Know as Trump Decides Iran Deal’s Fate


Q. Let’s start at the beginning. What is the Iran nuclear deal?

A. Also known by its formal title – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the Iran nuclear deal is designed to constrain Iran’s ability to build nuclear weapons. It does so by placing significant and verifiable checks on Iran and particularly on its ability to produce the highly enriched uranium or weapons-grade plutonium necessary for a nuclear bomb. The JCPOA was the product of years of negotiations between the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, Great Britain, France, Russia, and China – plus Germany) which stretched back to the George W. Bush Administration. The agreement was signed on July 14, 2015.


Q. Why is the Iran nuclear deal back in the headlines now?

A. President Trump faces an October 15 deadline to re-certify Iranian compliance with the deal. This is not a requirement of the JCPOA itself. Rather, it is a requirement of Congressional legislation known as the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA) of 2015. INARA stipulates that the President must certify every 90 days that Iran is continuing to uphold its obligations under the JCPOA. Since becoming President, Donald Trump has certified Iranian compliance twice. Nonetheless, Trump has made clear repeatedly his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, including on the campaign trail, when voicing frustration after recertifying Iranian compliance in July, and in his belligerent debut speech to the UN General Assembly. In Trumpian fashion, he teased the world with an announcement in late September that he had decided whether or not to certify Iranian compliance – and would “let you know what the decision is.” Reportedly, Trump has decided to decertify the deal, with an announcement coming later this week.

Q. What will happen if Trump makes good on his threats to decertify the deal?

A. Decertification by Trump will not automatically kill the Iran deal. If Trump had wanted to do that, he could have done so last month when he faced a September 15 deadline to determine (as the President must do every 120 days) whether to continue sanctions relief for Iran. In return for adhering to restrictions on its nuclear program, Iran’s payoff under the JCPOA was the removal of crippling sanctions imposed by the international community, including the United States. If President Trump declined to renew the sanctions waiver, the United States would be in material breach of the terms of the JCPOA. As Robert Malley, who served on the American team which helped to negotiate the Iran deal, stressed in his briefing call with Americans for Peace Now, Trump can decide at any time to reimpose sanctions on Iran. And yet, Trump chooses not to kill the deal. Instead, he appears poised to go the route of decertification. This would not kill the deal; it would punt the issue to Congress (as Trump has done before, on issues ranging from DACA to health care and tax reform).

Q. What will happen if/when Trump punts the JCPOA back to Congress?

A. Congress will have 60 days in which to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on Iran. The fight in Congress would be fierce with the outcome unclear. Many in Congress opposed the JCPOA when it came into force in 2015. Senate Republicans, joined by four Democratic colleagues, came up just short of advancing a vote on a resolution to reject the JCPOA; the House voted 245 to 186 to find President Obama out of compliance with INARA. There are signs, however, that the mood in Congress is shifting. Senator Bob Corker, Republican Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was a vocal opponent of the JCPOA when it came into being; more recently, he has indicated that the deal should be strongly enforced, rather than torn up. (Corker has also made headlines for his extraordinary warning that Trump’s reckless threats could be setting the United States “on the path to World War III.”) Representative Ed Royce, Republican Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has made the same volte-face. Senator Ben Cardin and Representative Ted Deutch, prominent Democrats who opposed the JCPOA in 2015, have both called on President Trump to recertify Iranian compliance.


Q. Is Iran abiding by its obligations under the JCPOA?

A. Yes, it is – despite the fact that opponents of the Iran deal warned that Iran could never be trusted to uphold the agreement. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu famously made this claim in his March 2015 speech to Congress that aimed to derail the JCPOA. In fact, the agreement hinges not upon trust, but on verification. So how do we know that Iran is complying? Let’s start with the national security advisers closest to President Trump who have confirmed, at times grudgingly and at the risk of angering their mercurial boss, that Iran is in compliance. In recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Secretary of Defense James Mattis was asked whether he believes it is “in our national security interests at the present time to remain in the JCPOA.” Mattis answered: "Yes, Senator, I do." He went on, in response to a follow-up question: "I believe at this point in time, absent indications to the contrary, [the JCPOA] is something the President should consider staying with." General Joseph Dunford, who serves as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – America’s highest-ranking military officer and principal military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council – agreed, in his own testimony to the same Senate committee. Dunford testified, “The briefings I have received indicate that Iran is adhering to its JCPOA obligations.” Asked whether the Iran deal has decreased the Iranian nuclear threat, he answered, “Yes, the JCPOA has delayed Iran’s development of nuclear weapons.” And, crucially, we have the verification reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is conducting regular, intrusive inspections in Iran’s nuclear facilities and just confirmed for a ninth time that Iran is upholding its end of the nuclear deal.

Q. OK, Iran is complying. But is the JCPOA a good deal?

A. Much of the commentary on the Iran nuclear deal, both positive and negative, comes from pundits, analysts, and advocates without deep knowledge of nuclear physics. That is true of us at Americans for Peace Now. It is not true of Dr. Earnest Moniz, Secretary of Energy under President Obama and the principal American negotiator on the JCPOA. A decorated nuclear physicist at MIT who was involved in the US nuclear weapons program for decades, Moniz knows what it takes to build a nuclear bomb – and he makes clear that the 159 pages of unprecedented detailed requirements in the JCPOA present a formidable barrier to Iran going nuclear. Moniz is not alone. Prominent scientists with expertise in nuclear weapons technologies have declared their hope that the Iran nuclear deal would serve as a “guidepost to future nonproliferation agreements.” As former Secretary of State John Kerry indicates, the JCPOA negotiators learned their lessons from a nuclear deal with North Korea that fell apart 20 years ago. That 4-page agreement dealt only with plutonium. By contrast, the JCPOA deals with all of Iran’s potential avenues to a nuclear weapon and draws upon the transparency rules of the IAEA’s Additional Protocol, which were designed to prevent a North Korea redux. No country has gone nuclear with the intrusive verification procedures of the Additional Protocol in place. Before Iran received any sanctions relief under the JCPOA, it complied up front: by eliminating 97 percent of its uranium stockpile, eradicating the core from its Arak reactor (thus preventing production of weapons-grade plutonium), destroying over 13,000 centrifuges, terminating enrichment of uranium at its Fordow site, and opening up to the IAEA’s intrusive inspections program.

Q. What about the JCPOA’s sunset clauses?

A. Despite the crucial accomplishments of the Iranian nuclear deal, critics have continued to attack it. In a speech before the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute last month, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley outlined what was supposed to be an indictment of the JCPOA. (In fact, it contained substantial falsehoods.) One of the supposed flaws in the Iran deal cited by Haley is that it contains sunset provisions and therefore does not guarantee that Iran’s nuclear program will be eliminated forever. Haley is correct that there are elements of the JCPOA that expire in 10, 15, and 20 years. Others do not: for example, as a signatory to the JCPOA and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran’s obligation not to build nuclear weapons is permanent. Fundamentally, the critics’ argument about the sunset clauses is nonsensical and makes the perfect the enemy of the good. If those who want to tear down the deal had their way, we would go back to the pre-JCPOA days when there were no curbs at all, of any length of time, on Iran’s nuclear program. Because of the Iran deal’s restrictions, the length of time it would take Iran to produce weapons-grade uranium if it decided to go all-out in pursuit of a nuclear weapon (a so-called “breakout scenario”) has increased to 12 months and it will remain so over the next decade. Do we really want to rewind the clock to mid-2013, when Iran’s breakout time was a mere one to two months?

Stephen Walt frames the issue nicely by changing the scenario to 1948. What if Joseph Stalin had offered to terminate the Soviet Union’s efforts to build an atomic bomb for up to 15 years, giving up a substantial portion of the USSR’s enriched uranium and allowing intrusive inspections, and in return asked only for some economic concessions? What if Stalin also made clear that he would retain the ability to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes and would continue to try to spread Communism to Eastern Europe and other parts of the world – such that the Cold War would continue but with the USSR as a non-nuclear state for as long as the agreement remained in force? Walt concludes that Harry Truman, George C. Marshall, and Dean Acheson would have taken such a deal and their Republican successors Dwight D. Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles “would have moved heaven and earth to keep it in force.” Unfortunately for the world, no such deal was ever on the table and the Soviet Union surprised the West by testing an atomic weapon in 1949. We are fortunate, thanks to the unflagging efforts of the P5+1 negotiators to have the JCPOA in place today. We must fight to keep it that way – and to extend the deal as its relevant provisions approach their expiration dates.

Q. But what about Iran’s ongoing threatening behavior throughout the Middle East?

A. It is absolutely true, and of substantial concern, that Iran continues its menacing activities in the Middle East – particularly its bolstering of Hizbullah, support for Bashar al-Asad’s regime in Syria, attempts to consolidate its influence in both Syria and Iraq, and missile development. (It is worth noting that these developments would not have been possible absent the American decision to launch a disastrous war against Iraq in 2003 – the proponents of which are the loudest voices calling for scrapping the JCPOA and moving toward an even more catastrophic military conflict with Iran.) The American negotiators of the JCPOA were keenly aware of, and concerned about, Iran’s threatening regional behavior but made a deliberate decision to focus on the single most important problem posed by Iran: the nuclear threat. Bringing in other issues would have given Iran the opportunity to propose a quid pro quo, trading concessions on regional policies for lesser restrictions on its nuclear program. The fact is that dealing with these regional issues would be exponentially more difficult if we were facing a nuclear Iran. Take it from the Israelis, those who are among the most threatened by Iran’s aggressive behavior. Members of Israel’s top military and intelligence brass – highly respected individuals like Uzi Arad, Carmi Gillon, Ami Ayalon, Amram Mitzna, and many others – have concluded that the JCPOA is good for Israel, enabling it to deal with Iran as a non-nuclear adversary.

Q. What about the possibility of getting a better deal?

A. This brings us to the claim that Trump’s decertification of the Iran nuclear deal will pave the way for Congress to put in place new sanctions that will pressure Iran to make concessions beyond what it agreed to in the JCPOA. There are many problems with this argument, which Colin Kahl lays out in his excellent piece in Foreign Policy. Worth highlighting here are the following points. Iran has made it abundantly clear that it will not capitulate to unilateral American demands for more concessions, a point that has united both pragmatists and hardliners within the Iranian government. And there is every reason to believe that threats of further American economic pressure would not force the Iranians to cave. After all, the regime views total capitulation to American demands as a much bigger threat to its legitimacy and longevity than additional American sanctions. And we’re talking about a regime that endured far greater economic hardships (not to mention hundreds of thousands of casualties) during the Iran-Iraq war before it finally agreed to a truce after eight years. In addition, this time the United States would be going it alone. Our partners in the P5+1, even our European allies (to say nothing of Russia and China) have made it clear that they will not support American efforts to renegotiate the JCPOA, while reaping the benefits of economic ties with Iran. Just how do Iran deal opponents plan to produce better results with less leverage? Kahl sums it up: “It is literally insane to believe that it is possible to produce 150 percent of the current deal with 50, 70, or even 99 percent of the leverage the United States possessed in 2015.”


Q. Would it really be so bad if the US withdrew from or decertified the JCPOA?

A. President Trump seems determined to follow Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s enjoinder, delivered to the UN General Assembly, to “fix it or nix it.” That is a terrible idea. Let’s highlight the top four reasons why:

(1) Relations with our allies. Absent any evidence that Iran is violating the terms of the JCPOA, decertification of the accord by President Trump threatens to (further) erode relations with our closest partners, on whose cooperation we depend to face global challenges from Iran to North Korea to climate change.

(2) American credibility. Reimposing US sanctions on Iran in violation of the JCPOA would show the world that it is Washington, and not Tehran, that cannot be trusted to keep its word. As Ernest Moniz puts it: “When the Iran nuclear agreement was concluded more than two years ago, many questioned whether Tehran would live up to its terms. Incredibly, now it’s our continued compliance that’s in question.” And with it, our credibility is on the line.

(3) North Korea. The real nuclear crisis the world is currently facing is the one with North Korea. Not only does it make no sense to manufacture a second one where it does not currently exist, thanks to the JCPOA, slashing American credibility at this critical juncture would give North Korea zero incentive to engage in diplomacy with the United States that would roll back its nuclear program.

(4) Armed conflict with Iran. Decertifying the JCPOA will strengthen the hand of Iran hawks who want to exercise the military option (and there isn’t any good one) for eliminating any nuclear threat from Iran. The threat of escalation and miscalculation with an adversary with whom the US has not had direct communication links since 1979 is simply too high – and unnecessary.

Q. So what can I do to protect the Iran deal?

A. It’s imperative that we do all we can to marshal our resources to defeat efforts to sink the Iran deal. Here’s what you can do:

(1) Check for updates

APN has been a go-to resource for all things related to the JCPOA and we will continue to be in the future. Be sure to listen to our briefing call with Robert Malley on the future of the Iran deal. Check the Iran resource center on the APN website for the latest updates. We’ll keep you informed.

(2) Contact your elected officials

We anticipate that President Trump will decertify the Iran deal, kicking its fate to Congress. At that point, we’ll need 51 Senators to stand up in favor of the deal. As soon as that happens, APN will help you reach your elected officials to voice your support for the JCPOA. Be sure to check back here.

(3) Donate to APN

If you value our research and advocacy in support of the Iran deal, and want to make sure that APN has the resources to keep up the fight, we’d greatly appreciate your support.