Thursday, September 17, 2015


JFNA Statement on Iran Deal

"New York – While the vote on the Iran agreement is likely behind us, the long-term challenge of preventing a nuclear Iran isn’t. America and our allies need to closely monitor Iran’s compliance of the accord and be prepared to act quickly and decisively against any Iranian violations.

This agreement adds a new variable to an already unstable and unpredictable Middle East. A strong U.S.-Israel relationship is more important than ever to both nations as we confront these challenges. Strengthening the spirit of the relationship, deepening strategic cooperation and supporting Israel as it reexamines its defense needs in light of the agreement are important next steps.

While the last several months have seen divisions over the Iran issue, we also must remember one thing on which the Administration, Congress, the Jewish community and indeed the American people all agree: Iran must never acquire a nuclear weapon."


I know that many of you reading the above for the first time here believe that this is some terrible parody that I dreamed up in some nightmare vision of what JFNA would finally say after the Iran Deal apparently became veto-proof. But you would be wrong. This is the actual statement apparently written by humans at 25 Broadway (as opposed to the popular theorem that if you put 100 monkeys in a room with typewriters, they will produce Hamlet).

Yes, this is exactly the mush we weren't waiting for the last 90+ days. It's really too bad that with all the staff at JFNA HQ they had no one able to read the "Iran agreement."




Anonymous said...

So what's your statement? And would you be ready and willing to impose it on Chicago, New York, San Francisco and all the wide array of different options? Since none of them wanted a single national statement.

Anonymous said...


It may be helpful for your loyal readers to see what you would have liked to have seen as a statement from the national system. Is it even feasible, in these days of diverse opinion, to expect a national statement?

Anonymous said...

We already had this discussion a few months ago, Richard, when you lauded Los Angeles and Miami for ignoring the dissent in their communities and rushing to put out a statement that alienated so many. Do we really need another round of this?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the term everyone is looking for is "leading from behind."

RWEX said...

Let's be clear:

1. The last Anonymous (@7:25 a.m.) has chosen to misinterpret my Post of "a few months ago" and this one.

2.That Anonymous Commentator and the first above (one and the same??) seem to fail to comprehend that my criticism is not of the substance of the JFNA Statement but of its internal inconsistencies and incredibly poor timing. If this is the best that JFNA can do,shame on them and us.

3. If JFNA wishes to engage me to assits them, I am available for a fee.

Anonymous said...


To be fair, JFNA as an entity has been, from the outset, internally inconsistent. The Federations themselves have no-one but themselves to blame for this, with the LC Feds heading the list.

Anonymous said...

I am the commentator of 7:25am. But I clearly read your post on July 21st on "Speaking Out."
Can you imagine what a mess we would all be in had we followed your guidance on following Los Angeles and Miami? They DID ignore their communities, they did NOT have full discussions in their leaderships.
So no, I don't think I misinterpreted your Post. I think your Post misinterpreted what federations should be commended for. You were effusive in your praise for these two federations.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous commentator at 4:07. Richard, you have a responsibility here. You called on the federations clearly and articulately to stand up with AIPAC and to oppose the deal. That was damaging. JFNA may be guilty (is guilty) of many things but not of recklessly rushing to divide us.

paul jeser said...

EVERY Federation that took a stand opposed the deal. Besides AIPAC, the ADL (not surprised) and the AJC (surprised) opposed the deal. 80% of Jewish Israelis and the Israeli Government Opposition opposed the deal. The Reform movement took a neutral stand (surprised). J Street and the NJDC supported the deal (not surprised). The majority of Americans oppose the deal. And, depending on which pole you believe, the majority of American Jews now oppose the deal.

The old CJF would have convened a national meeting of Federation leadership and staff and, there is no doubt in my mind, would have come to a consensus opposing the deal.

Leadership should lead - our community desparately needs leadership.

RWEX said...

Let me jump in here. There are those Anonymous commentators who desperately cling to their own version of what they perceive to be my positions. When I expressed my embrace of LA and Miami taking a position on the Iran Deal it was because they rallied their communities to a position not, as some of you persist in misreading my Posts to support your prejudices, because their communities, like mine were opposed to the deal. Second, my Posts on the subject were well in advance of AIPAC taking any position on the Deal whatsoever.

As I have written before, you are entitled to your opinions, you are not entitled to twist the facts.

Anonymous said...

Paul Jeser gets it wrong. Lots of federations took stands but not all opposed the deal. Some expressed concern, some expressed opposition with conditions.
The old CJF would have done the right thing, which (surprisingly) is exactly what JFNA did: consult, discuss, and let each federation consult and discuss with its own leadership in its own way. That's called community decision-making. Not fake imposed "national" decisions to force people to agree to your point of view. That's not leadership.

RWEX said...

1. That will be the last of the "gotchas" re: Paul Jeser -- unless one of you has a count of the exact number of federations which supported the Iran Deal. "Opposed with conditions?" is not "opposed?" Huh?

2. My old friend, the historian of all Blog Posts has attempted to return to the fray. His/her Comments have been rejected unless he/she would do so absent the cloak of Anonymity.

Anonymous said...

Old friend here. Why do you have an anonymous-posting blog if you don't allow people to post anonymously? Seems a little contradictory, no?

paul jeser said...

I stand corrected (somewhat). What is factual, at east according to the JTA, is that no Federation has come out in favor of the deal.

The VERY few that are not outright opposed, seem to be somewhere between opposed and undecided, leaning to opposed.

The JTA article lists the Feds and there positions.

RWEX said...

Some of you seem to have forgotten that this is my Blog. If you do not like what I have written, you are free to visit other Blogs. I appreciate your readership but, really, please focus on the Post upon which you are commenting rather than on each other; I have just rejected 4 anonymous Comments. Many thanks.