If, as stated by Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ president Leslie Dannin Rosenthal, there was “overwhelming” board support for this position, that is compelling evidence that the board is overwhelmingly out of touch with the diversity of views it supposedly represents.
The board’s “criteria” for a negotiated deal are simply phantasmagorical, akin to terms imposed on an enemy which has unconditionally surrendered after being vanquished in combat. No reasonable observer, knowledgeable about the region, could conceivably expect those criteria to be met through a diplomatic process. Nor was the process ever intended to address that range of concerns. Had it been, the other major powers, particularly Russia and China, would never have signed on to the sanctions or participated in the negotiating process. The negotiations were intended to forestall Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capacity, and according to the experts, including senior Israeli military and intelligence figures, it has accomplished that objective.
The deal is not perfect, and we could imagine ways in which it would better achieve our objectives, but no negotiated deal is perfect, and it is by no means clear that Iran would have accepted more demanding terms. Most importantly, the deal is better than any available alternative. In failing to confront that stark reality, the federation board forfeits any claim to intellectual respect from those of us
who have followed these issues closely over an extended period. While perhaps momentarily popular among a narrow constituency, the Board’s action is, in a word, irresponsible.
Alan J. Weisbard