Jewish leaders in New York are voicing their frustrations with a number of Democratic House representatives and New York state senator Kirsten Gillibrand for supporting Obama’s Iran nuclear deal. Much of this frustration boiled over this past summer as over ten thousand Americans, a vast majority of them Orthodox Jews and Evangelical Christians, gathered in Times Square to denounce the deal as a dangerous proposition.
Ten House Democrats from New York voted in support of the Iran deal, including Yvette Clark, Joseph Crowley, Brian Higgins, Hakeem Jeffries, Gregory Meeks, Jerry Nadler, Jose Serrano, Louise Slaughter, Paul Tonko, Nydia Velazquez, and more recently, Charlie Rangel.
Nadler, representative of NY’s 10th district, spanning heavily Jewish populated parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, has drawn notable criticism for supporting the deal because of his own Jewish identity.
Steve Eisenberg, an active Jewish community leader in the Upper West Side and cofounder of the Jewish International Connection in New York, told The Daily Wire that he found Nadler’s support for the deal against the popular Jewish vote in his district “reprehensible on many levels.”
“Forget any Jew who sees them (Iranians) shout ‘death to America,’” Eisenberg said. “80% of the constituency are not in favor. They are not representing their district. As Jews, they are not putting Israel first, and as Americans, representatives of Jews [in their district.]”
“reprehensible on many levels.”
Steve Eisenberg, Jewish community leader
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, an influential Orthodox rabbi and author in the New York area who recently spoke out against Nadler for supporting the Iran deal, wrote in the Jerusalem Post that he had “agreed to disagree” in his argument with Nadler.
Boteach told The Daily Wire, "I reject those who say that he (Nadler) betrayed the Jewish community."
“The point is, this isn’t about the Jewish community opposing congressman Nadler for defying interest,” Boteach explained. “This is about whether Nadler takes genocide seriously, this is about whether Congressman Nadler supports a bill, that in ten or 15 years, according to Obama’s own words, Iran’s breakout time will be near zero.”
Boteach said that when he presented the President’s own words to Nadler, the congressman responded, “The President misspoke.”
Other representatives of districts with large Jewish populations in parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, include Meeks (D-5), Clark (D-9), Velazquez (D-6), Rangel (D-13), and Jeffries (D-8).
Rangel represents the predominantly Jewish neighborhoods of Riverdale and Washington Heights, home to New York’s Yeshiva University (YU).
Rabbi Yosef Blau, a prominent Orthodox YU rabbi and president of the Religious Zionists of America, told The Daily Wire that he thinks the vast majority of YU students living in Rangel's district are against a deal made with Iran.
“Probably 9/10ths of our undergraduate students will have spent at least a year studying in Israel before coming to college,” Blau said. “Therefore, the sentiment is very strongly pro-Israel and concerned with Israel’s security… So the strong sentiment is that if the Israeli government feels that the deal is inadequate, so the student faculty is supportive of that.”
Government census data shows New York as the state with the largest Jewish population in the U.S., a majority of whom feel betrayed by state senator Gillibrand.
Jeff Wiesenfeld, organizer of the Stop Iran Rally in Times Square this past summer, told The Daily Wire, "Kirsten Gillibrand as far as I’m concerned is a complete fraud."
Wiesenfeld said that as a young man, he encountered Gillibrand on several occasions while working as an agent for New York senator Al D’Amato.
“It’s very strange to me why this very young Congress member (Gillibrand), this very lucky person was appointed to this position,” he said. “She has to be opposed and she has to be run out of that seat.” He added, "Jerry Nadler has to be opposed [and] should not receive any money for his campaign."