Speaking to The Algemeiner on Wednesday, Jewish groups were adamantly opposed to a filibuster in Congress to stave off a vote on the Obama administration’s nuclear deal, warning such a move would shut down any debate on a “monumentally important issue.”
Leading the call, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean at the Simon Wiesenthal Center called the filibuster Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has vowed to lead in Congress a “horrible idea” and “insulting to the American process.”
Daniel S. Mariaschin, executive vice president of B’nai Birith International said it would be a “mistake” to close out the debate on an issue where “every [congressman] should be heard,” especially as the White House failed to whip up support among some of the most powerful Democrats in Congress.
While both groups acknowledged that the president has enough support to keep Congress from killing the deal — “It was a political victory for the president, but a geopolitical disaster,” said Cooper — they called for legislation demanding accountability while registering the wide opposition to the deal.
Mariaschin called it “just the beginning of the process on the Iranian issue,” encouraging bipartisan measures to “ensure greater accountability.”
Jewish groups, pro-Israel lobbies and, of course, Israel, among others are concerned the nuclear deal will empower Iran to work toward carrying out its stated goals of occupying Jerusalem and destroying the Jewish state; just Wednesday morning Khamenei predicted the “Zionist regime” would no longer exist in 25 years, which also happens to be when the final provisions of the nuclear deal expire.
“One has to be extremely skeptical going forward. [The Iranians] say they got the better end of this deal,” said Mariaschin, noting Iranian claims to victory over the international sanctions regime that will disintegrate with the deal’s implementation. Critics of the deal reject President Obama’s hope that such diplomatic openings to Iran could temper the regime’s global hostility, which is underlined by Iranian hard-liners’ harshly anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric since the signing of the accord.
“The only real opportunity for change will be the day after [Supreme Leader Ayatollah] Ali Khamenei dies,” said Cooper.