Since the signing of the Iran deal, the decibel level of the dissension within the Jewish community has gone down — but not gone away. The vitriol that continues to be unleashed is disheartening.
Those in favor of the deal characterize the others as warmongers, wanting to rush to war without giving the deal a chance to work.
Many of those opposed attack proponents of the deal as traitors, anti-Zionists and even (Jewish) anti-Semites, ratcheting up the rhetoric.
Only time will reveal the wisdom of the deal in terms of controlling Iran’s development of a nuclear bomb. But this past week’s events, with Iran compliance so far, does not appear to have muted the critics, whose certitude remains. Their insistence that only they truly care about the well being of Israel is alarming.
So are reports that some congregations have cancelled speaking engagements of defenders of the deal, or are asserting that only critics of the deal should sit on boards of Jewish organizations.
It seems clear to me that the Israeli government position on the deal is what drives this very strong response by many in our community. For those who believe that Israel knows best, remember that in 2002, Benjamin Netanyahu, then a private citizen, addressed the U.S. Congress and implored its members to go to war with Iraq. “If you take out Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations in the region,” he said.
Instead the war brought chaos to the Mideast.
It’s time for decency, respect and civility to replace arrogance and small-mindedness. We don’t have to agree with each other, but we do have to start acting like thinking, respectful human beings.
Editor’s Note: The writer is a member of the board of The Jewish Week, expressing her personal views.