(JTA) – Twenty-six former senior leaders of major American Jewish groups have signed a letter supporting the agreement over Iran’s nuclear program. The letter, which appeared August 20 as a full-page advertisement in The New York Times, says that the negotiators “devoted decades to building and enhancing Israel’s security and strengthening the U.S.-Israel alliance,” and that the agreement “cuts off Iran’s ability to pursue a nuclear weapon.” The signatories include three former chairs of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, one former executive director of AIPAC, former leaders of the Conservative and Reform movements, and former heads of the American Jewish Committee and Jewish Community Relations Council. Former Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, also signed, as did ex-Reps. Mel Levine of California and Robert Wexler of Florida, both Democrats. The letter raises concerns over the antisemitic statements of Iranian leaders and the regime’s sponsorship of terrorist groups. “We remain deeply concerned that Iran is unflinchingly antisemitic and an unapologetic state-sponsor of terrorism,” the letter says. “However, a nuclear-armed Iran would be even more dangerous. While not perfect, this deal is the best available option to halt Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”
In addition, despite recognizing perceived faults in the Iran nuclear deal, Congressman Jerrold Nadler announced on August 21 his support for the agreement, citing “in large part” his support for Israel. Nadler is the sole Jewish lawmaker from his state to support the deal, the New York Times reported. Nadler decided to support the deal after receiving a letter from Obama answering his critical questions about it and promising to increase military aid for Israel’s defense and to keep pressure on Iran for its support for terrorist groups.