The proposed Nuclear Arms deal with Iran has evoked a very emotional and at times a very negative debate with insults, words of hate and actual threats against those on the other side of the argument. Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Eliot Engel have been called war mongers, puppets of the Israeli government, having dual loyalty ( often used by those who are anti-Semitic) and worse. Our President used the term war mongers: Inappropriate and Wrong. In no way are they or others who oppose the deal war mongers. Yes, I disagree with their position as well as the position of my friend Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. I know that their position took much thought, research and discussion with colleagues, staff, relatives and constituents. It was not an easy decision. Those want to oppose them need to do it in a civil and respectful way. I know that I will be with them when they are up for re-election.
On the other hand, those who have supported the deal, including me, have been vilified, cursed and threatened. My Rabbi, Sharon Kleinbaum, a Rabbi of prominence, a person dedicated to life, Chai, has been cursed and called an anti-Semite and worse. Last Friday Councilman David Greenfield expressed his dismay at Congressman Jerry Nadler‘s support of the deal on Face Book. The Councilman has every right to his opinion. He has represented his constituents very well. Some of those who commented on his page and who reacted to my support of the deal reacted with venom, hate and threats. This is from one of them directed at me: ” Goldstein you didn’t meet Edelstein YET! Watch your ass! You will get hurt!! And did I tell tell you that your an ignorant son of a bitch, liberal piece of shit? Names and word won’t hurt you, but you never came across a guy like me yet!! Watch every move you make from now on! Make my day asshole!! You better pray you never meet me. But one thing is for sure is you will meet me because I will hunt you down and you will feel sorry for your comments. Complain to Obama asshole! He won’t help you and neither will anyone else. Shanda you were born!” I know that the Councilman finds those kinds of comments abhorrent and hateful. All of have to condemn that kind of venom.
Meaningful and civil debate is needed. The name calling and threats have to stop. There are arguments on both sides. To quote a good friend, Pauline Park, with whom I do often disagree: ” Lewis, I’m certainly not saying that everyone opposing the deal is beating the drums of war; I just don’t see what the alternative to the deal is; the only ways to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons would be either a deal like this or war, so no deal probably means war with Iran & if war comes, it would be a long & bloody one, like the Iraq war. Shalom & salaam to you, too~!”
The Tea Party here in our country and the Republican Party are trying to make this into a pro-Israel vs. Anti-Israel situation and an Anti-Semitic vs. pro-Jewish situation. It is a political document. One drawn up after negotiations led by John Kerry. Those who want to question my love for Israel and the U.S. and for my people have that right. I consider myself a better friend of Israel then those individuals. I am proud to join with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressmen Jerry Nadler and Jose Serrano in supporting the deal. ONE CAN THROW ROCKS AT ME. I believe in free, unfettered Democracy with free speech. I am a very pro-Israel Jew who disagrees with Netanyahu and his government and his attempts to intimidate not only Congress but the American Jewish Community. To me it is not Israel right or wrong. Do I trust Iran? No, I do not. I do trust the commitments from our allies in Europe and the Mid East who will be closely monitoring and inspecting any nuclear activity by Iran. I am confident that Israel has the strength and commitment to defeat Iran if needed. Many leaders in the Jewish community and possibly a majority of the Jewish community support the deal. Over 350 prominent Rabbis have come out in support. There are those who are saying that the Jewish community does not want it. That is not true. AIPAC and other federations do not speak for the Jewish community. The following is from the statement by 350 Rabbis:”However many Jewish Federations, AIPAC and other leading national Jewish organizations are campaigning in opposition, which is being interpreted to mean that American Jews want to see the deal scrapped. This is a false and dangerous message that we as rabbis hope to counter with our letter to Congress.” It is my feeling that Netanyahu wants it to appear that he speaks for American Jewry. He does not. He does not even speak for all Israelis. Many former Israeli generals, a former Head of Mossad, and many past and present governmental leaders in Israel support this deal.The Netanyahu government drowns them out.In my opinion Netanyau is trying to have an impact on elections in our country in 2016. That is dangerous.