Opinion

No Nuclear Iran Must Be A Litmus Test For Pro-Israel Money

Ronn Torossian CEO, 5W Public Relations

The issue of Iran’s nuclear capabilities is something which anyone who cares about a safe America as well as a safe Israel must stand against. And perhaps no community more than Republican American Jews must stand together in the interest of shared values – and a safer world – work to do everything they can to thwart a nuclear Iran.

While Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu loudly condemns Obama’s negotiations with Iran, noting endlessly that a deal which leaves Iran with nuclear capabilities “threatens the Jewish state and puts his people in mortal danger.” This month after speaking with President Obama, Netanyahu tweeted “A deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel. Such a deal would not block Iran’s path to the bomb. It would pave it.”

In Israel, where everything is debated ad naseum, this issue has transcended politics – and united the right and the left.

Opposition Knesset Member Eitan Cabel of the Zionist Union party – a fierce critic of Netanyahu — noted recently that he “stood behind Prime Minister Netanyahu over the ‘extremely worrisome’ nuclear framework agreement with Iran.”

Cabel wrote on his Facebook page that he “refuse[s] to join the flock of followers applauding the nuclear deal with Iran,” and added, “On this matter alone, I stand behind Benjamin Netanyahu.” Cabel – a fierce Netanyahu critic, added that the consensus in Israel on the issue of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons was above party or political differences, saying that, “this time, it is definitely not a matter of Right or Left,” and adding that even “with all the criticism there is about how [Netanyahu] conducted the struggle against the agreement, the struggle itself is just. Against a nuclear Iran, there is no opposition or coalition. We are all Israelis.”

The entire Israel political spectrum stands against a nuclear Iran. So too must all candidates seeking the support of the Jewish community pledge say no to a nuclear Iran.

Against this backdrop, on the eve of the Republican Jewish Coalition’s spring leadership meeting in Las Vegas, former New York Governor George Pataki said today that all “Republicans running for president in 2016 must agree to renege any nuclear agreement the U.S. signs with Iran. We must make it clear to the world now, that America cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran.”

Pataki today rightfully has created a litmus test which all candidates must pledge – they must say to the world that America cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran. A bad Obama deal must be reneged upon – and if not, then they must not receive the support of the Jewish community.

For all the noise about “Jewish votes,” it is money which makes candidates chase the Jewish community in an outsized manner.  Yesterday’s Washington Post noted that “tension between the Obama administration and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has fueled a fundraising bonanza” for the Republican Jewish Coalition. That is undoubtedly true.

And along those lines, no matter whom the Jewish mega-donors of the RJC choose, they should urge all candidates to universally oppose that which Israel’s Prime Minister describes as a mortal danger. Just as all of Israel is united, so too must candidates seeking Jewish support unite around this issue.

Ronn Torossian is a New York based entrepreneur and author of “For Immediate Release.”