J Street Helps the Obama-Iran Honeymoon

J Street is looking less like a lobby and more like the grassroots arm of the Obama White House.

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said that an agreement with Iran is as important to the President as passing Obamacare · Coincidentally, J Street and radical left-wing organizations are working with the Iranian lobby to pressure congress to quash the sanctions as part of such an agreement · Meanwhile the head of IAEA says that the Iranians have stopped cooperating · Just how far is the White House willing to go to avoid annoying the Iranians?

עם השמאל הרדיקלי, נגד הסנקציות; חברת כנסת ישראלית בכנס של ג'יי סטריט, 2012. צילום: jstreetdotorg CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
With the radical left, against sanctions MK Zehava Galon at a J Street conference. Photo: jstreetdotorg CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The left-wing Jewish lobby J Street is trying these days to pressure Congress to suspend sanction to pave the way for Obama to make a nuclear deal with Iran. Along with a long list of radical left and pro-Iranian organizations, J Street signed a petition beseeching Senators and Congressmen to allow Obama to suspend sanctions against Iran as a first stage of the agreement.

The petition begins:

We are organizations representing millions of Americans advocating in support of diplomacy to secure an agreement which ensures that Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon. We write to express deep concern with inaccurate and counterproductive rhetoric from a handful of Members of Congress regarding possible outcomes of the current negotiations. Particularly irresponsible are threats to oppose any comprehensive agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program that initially suspends US sanctions on Iran through lawful executive action.

The petition aims at convincing the recipients that the US will retain the ability to re-impose sanctions if the Iranians don’t live up to their word.

The petition goes on to say that,

Separately, we are disappointed to hear some Members of Congress also threaten to oppose any agreement that does not completely “eliminate” or “dismantle” Iran’s uranium enrichment infrastructure. It is troubling that these members would fail to support a workable agreement which verifiably ensures that Iran would not be able to quickly amass material for nuclear weapons and would ensure that any such effort would be promptly detected and disrupted by the United States and the international community.

The petition end with a threat:

A naïve insistence on complete Iranian capitulation on enrichment will likely lead to the fracturing of the international sanctions regime, an unrestricted and unmonitored Iranian nuclear program, and yet another war in the Middle East.

Alongside J Street’s signature is that of organizations like Code Pink, a radical feminist leftist organization which conducts pro-Hamas campaigns against the “Gaza Siege” and some of whose members met with Ahmedinejad in 2008, and the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a highly influential pro-Iranian lobby in DC, which is suspected of having direct ties with Iran, as published in ‘Mida’.

This wouldn’t be the first time J Street has worked together with NIAC to prevent either a military strike or the strengthening of sanctions against Iran. Already in 2009, J Street head Jeremy Ben-Ami and Dr. Trita Parsi of NIAC worked against sanctions, and the two organizations have developed warm ties. A Jerusalem Post investigation showed that J Street received donations from Muslim and Arab bodies, including those with connections to NIAC.

יהודים ואיראנים מסרבים להיות אויבים; המועצה הלאומית האיראנית-אמריקנית. צילום: Al Garman CC BY-ND 2.0
Jews and Iranians working together; the NIAC. Photo: Al Garman CC BY-ND 2.0

J Street in the service of the White House

The character of the organizations and the timing of their “grassroots” pressure on Congress raises serious questions on J Street’s role as an arm of the White House. The timing of the petition is no coincidence. On 24 November, the ultimatum set for the Iranians in the framework of the nuclear talks will expire. Along with the other powers, the United States is working intensively to reach an agreement with Iran, which would reduce the number of active centrifuges they have.

In an interview with Charlie Rose, Secretary of State John Kerry said that he’s in a marathon of discussion in preparations for the summit in Oman next week. “We’re closer [to an agreement] than we were a week or even ten weeks ago,” he said, “but there are still large gaps ahead of us.” Kerry added that he fears the Iranians “climbed a high tree” and they’re stuck there because of this or that demand.

President Obama has repeatedly said that when it comes to the Iranian nuclear issue “all the options are on the table,” but these threats lose their force when Obama has also done everything possible to distance himself from a military strike or imposing greater sanctions. And lest there be any doubt – the Iranians read this conciliatory message loud and clear.

Just a few days ago, the Washington Free Beacon uncovered an extraordinary statement by Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, one of Obama’s close advisors, regarding the great importance with which Obama views reaching an agreement with Iran. Per Rhodes, “Bottom line is, this is the best opportunity we’ve had to resolve the Iranian issue diplomatically, certainly since President Obama came to office, and probably since the beginning of the Iraq war,” Rhodes said. “So no small opportunity, it’s a big deal. This is probably the biggest thing President Obama will do in his second term on foreign policy. This is healthcare for us, just to put it in context.”

Such statements could explain the warming of American-Iranian relations over ISIS. The testimonies of a “quiet partnership with Iran” are accumulating, including the fact that America continues to turn its back to its traditional allies in the Middle East: inviting Iran to join the anti-ISIS coalition, warning sent to Iran before America bombs targets in Syria, and more such cases.

רק לא עימות; קרי, קתרין אשטון ושר החוץ האיראני ג'וואד זריף בפגישה בוינה. צילום: שגרירות ארה"ב בוינה, CC BY-ND 2.0
Anything to avoid conflict: Kerry, Ashton and Zarif in Vienna. Photo: American Embassy in Vienna, CC BY-ND 2.0

Iran is not cooperating

In the midst of all this, the head of IAEA Yukiya Amano attacked Iran, stating that it has stopped cooperating recently and will not answer question regarding possible military aspects of their nuclear program. Although Iranian president Hassan Rouhani promised to clarify the ambiguity, this has not happened according to the New York Times. “This is the time for action,” Amano said regarding the issues requiring clarification, and which the Iranians refused to answer for years.

For its part, Tehran denies any attempt at hiding information from the international community, and does not look ready to “come down off its high tree,” to use John Kerry’s phrase. In light of this, a troubling thought arises: just how much is America willing to bend over backwards to avoid offending the Iranians? Is there a red line? Right now, it’s not clear. What is clear is that any attempt by Obama to draw red lines will not be in Israel’s favor.

The only ray of light is Congress’ ability to hinder Obama’s Iranian honeymoon; if the predictions pan out, a Republican Majority in both houses will help do so. Here’s hoping they ignore J Street’s petitions in the meantime.

English translation by Avi Woolf.

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1 comments on the article

  1. How log did it take you to figure it out? Were you hiding in a cave? Deprived from connectivity? What is this phony news coverage all about? J Street is a tool of the American left-using Jewish donors and their network, to destroy Israel as a state of the Jewish people. The Israeli left is a Fifth Column, they were more loyal to Stalin than to P.M Ben Gurion, himself a Socialist before there was Communism. During the early 50’s he had the Shin bet follow the Mapam and Communists, to track their acts of disloyalty, Israel Baer, “a phony “Colonel” who “fought” in the Civil War-Spain, 1936, was an Austrian “Oleh” who immigrated to spy for the USSR) planted in his office, as a so called “Historian” of the IDF, was the first major Soviet Mole inside the defense department. When general Moshe Dayan, saw him in one event, he demanded that the organizers, remove the traitor from the grounds: “What is the traitor doing here, get him out”, loosely written in English. Every spy, traitor of the last 65 years was a lefty, so the connection is well established.