Last month, when Secretary of State Kerry announced an historic agreement to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, we launched a fight that we’ve been preparing for since J Street was founded seven years ago. And there is much at stake–US and Israeli security, the prospect of another war in the Middle East and the future of the pro-Israel movement in America.
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We’re up against tough forces in this fight: the people who got us into the Iraq War and an out-of-touch Jewish establishment that believes the only way to support Israel is to do what its prime minister says–no matter how wrong or dangerous it may be. Leading that charge is AIPAC, which has pledged over $30 million to kill the deal.
But on our side, we have the numbers, the experts and the facts.
And the facts–because we are fighting for a genuinely good agreement, that cuts off Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon, imposes the strictest inspections in history and makes the Israel and the region notably safer.
We’ve spent the last seven years building a nationwide network of pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans and forming close relationships with Members of Congress to prepare us for this fight.
But we’re going to need your help.
J Street doubles fundraising for Iran deal campaign
In the face of a loud and well-funded opposition, we’ve doubled our fundraising in recent weeks, amassing over $4 million to make sure that Members of Congress hear the full voice of the pro-Israel community. On television and in The New York Times , our ads are making clear that the nuclear agreement is good for the US and for Israel. And we’ve built an Iran deal resources website, so that supporters have the facts when they need them.
Israeli security experts: Accept the deal
Israeli security backers of Iran deal
Opponents are trying desperately to portray the deal as bad for Israel, but voices from the top echelons of Israel’s security establishment are making clear that they’re wrong. From former Shin Bet head Ami Ayalon to former Mossad director Efraim Halevy, those who know Israel’s security best are supporting the deal over the alternatives.
We are doing everything we can to amplify their voices, and have brought retired major generals Amram Mitzna and Israel Ziv, as well as former Israeli consul general Alon Pinkas, to share their perspective with Congressional lawmakers and other political leaders. “This agreement is better than no agreement and must not be rejected, ” Mitzna warned in the Capitol Hill paper Roll Call, “For Israel’s sake and all the people of the Middle East, we must not miss this opportunity.”
Polls find majority of American Jews support the deal
J Street Poll Results
One of the reasons that opponents of the agreement have to spend tens of millions of dollars to lobby Congress is that the majority of Americans and American Jews simply aren’t with them. Our latest poll confirms: 60 percent of American Jews support the deal, even more than the 56 percent of Americans overall who support it, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll which asked the same question.
Though rhetoric against the deal has escalated in recent weeks, support hasn’t diminished–in fact, it’s increased. The 20-point margin in favor that we found in our poll aligns closely with the 18-point margin found in last week’s LA Jewish Journal survey, as well as the 18-point margin from our poll last month, and other polls conducted before the deal was reached.
This data is yet more proof that we represent the mainstream of pro-Israel opinion in this country, while AIPAC and other Jewish groups who rushed to oppose the agreement are far out of step with the majority of American Jews.
J Street condemns terrorist attack by Jewish extremists
Ali Saad Daobasa
In the wake of Friday’s terror attack by Jewish extremists–which killed one-year-old Ali Saad Dawabasha and critically injured three members of his family–and Thursday’s horrific stabbing attack at the Jerusalem Pride parade, we shared a powerful statement from Rabbi Sharon Brous, of the IKAR community in Los Angeles.
“Painful as it is, we must acknowledge that a culture of racism, hatred and indifference will inevitably become a culture of violence, ” she wrote. “It’s time to stand with strength and courage not only to offer words of condemnation and consolation, but to fight to change our social, political and religious reality so that such things never happen again.”
J Street meets with UN Secretary General
J Street and UNSG Ban Ki-moon
J Street representatives were honored to meet with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon this week to discuss the historic nuclear agreement between world powers and Iran, and the vital need for a two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“It was a distinct honor to meet with the secretary general at this critical time for Middle East diplomacy, ” said J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami. “We were grateful to have had the opportunity to hear his commitment to the creation of a Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel, and to share our own perspective, as American Jews, about what the United Nations can do to advance a just and lasting peace.”
In addition to Ben-Ami, J Street representatives included board members Alexandra Stanton and Victor Kovner, and New York leaders Rita Isaacs, Alex Wallau and Jon Ungar.
Thank you for all of your support in this critical fight. With your help, we have a good shot at winning!