We are writing to respond to Larry Lerner’s letter questioning the process by which the Community Relations Committee of Greater MetroWest publicly questioned the administration’s interim agreement with Iran on nuclear enrichment (Letter, “Put it to a vote,” Dec. 12). According to Mr. Lerner, the CRC has not conducted a “full discussion” and instead created policy by “fiat that follows the Netanyahu line.”
We write as the immediate past chairs of CRC and its Iran subcommittee chair.
Mr. Lerner, to our knowledge, has not attended any of the Iran subcommittee meetings in the past several years where our CRC policy and strategy are thoroughly discussed and vetted. As a past chair of CRC in Central, Mr. Lerner certainly knows this. Instead, he has chosen to publicly complain that the CRC’s policy statement on the conditions for lifting sanctions did not undergo the proper process. Mr. Lerner should be aware that the CRC’s current and past leadership all reviewed, edited (disagreed in part), and changed the statement before it was issued. And not every reaction by the CRC has to be approved by the CRC membershipbefore a public statement is issued. That is the responsibility of leadership and we are confident that it was discharged properly here.
As to the content of Mr. Lerner’s criticism, we note that the “guidelines” we advocated were, in the main, the same guidelines established in numerous unanimous UN Security Council resolutions (with the affirmative votes of both China and Russia) over the past decade requiring, as a bare minimum, that Iran stop all enrichment activities as a condition to negotiations over lifting sanctions. The Iranian government has been caught lying about its activities and refusing to permit UN-sanctioned inspections to uncover the truth about its intentions. On this background, Mr. Lerner supports the Obama administration’s “hope” to induce the Ayatollah to negotiate a deal to “roll back its nuclear progress.” Good luck with that. The lesson of history is that whenever the Jewish people have been induced to trust malevolent despots, from Roman rulers to the totalitarian giants of the 20th century, we have suffered. Grievously.
We wholeheartedly support the process and outcome of CRC chair Gordon Haas’s leadership on this issue over the past two years. We invite Mr. Lerner to attend the strategy and policy meetings where we vet new issues with the full committee, as we did most recently with Syria’s chemical weapons and gun control. Better yet, come and voice your opinions in our subcommittees, which all CRC members are open to join. Our Iran position on the interim negotiations reiterated our ongoing position on Iran that has been the same for the past six years and consistent with Jewish Federations of North America, which is for the complete dismantling of Iran’s nuclear capacity.
David Lentz, immediate past CRC Chair
Merle Kalishman, former CRC Chair
Jim Daniels, CRC Stop Iran Task Forec