More than 300 American rabbis wrote members of Congress Monday urging them to support the international nuclear deal with Iran, signalling the US Jewish community is split over the historic but controversial accord.
The religious leaders come from across the spectrum, but hail overwhelmingly from Judaism’s Conservative and Reform streams as well as other progressive Jewish movements, a spokesperson said.
“We encourage the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to endorse this agreement,” the 340 rabbis wrote in a letter to Congress distributed by Ameinu, a progressive charitable Jewish organization.
“We are deeply concerned with the impression that the leadership of the American Jewish community is united in opposition to the agreement,” the rabbis added.
“We, along with many other Jewish leaders, fully support this historic nuclear accord.”
The agreement, finalized last month after more than a year of intense negotiations, would roll back Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for an easing of crippling economic sanctions.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is strongly opposed to the deal. He argues it will fail to block Iran’s path to nuclear weapons that could be used to target the Jewish state.
Two weeks ago Netanyahu personally called on US Jewish groups to thwart the White House-backed deal. He made his appeal on a webcast hosted by Jewish American groups, which said it reached some 10,000 people.