August 31, 2015
The Board of Directors of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas respects the efforts of the P5+1 countries to negotiate an enforceable and verifiable nuclear agreement with the Government of Iran. However, we view with the deepest skepticism Iran's stated commitment never to build a nuclear weapon and remain deeply disturbed by Iran's support of international terrorism and continued threats to annihilate Israel. Our community is united on the end goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Focusing on the best specific path to achieve that goal is critical. Rooted in this skepticism, as noted above, we ask legislators to work with President Obama and future Administrations to sustain and strengthen measures to address Iran's nuclear program and nefarious behavior including, but not limited to: 1) responding to Iran's continued funding and military support of terrorism; and 2) responding to any future Iranian attempt to develop a nuclear weapon.
We therefore urge U.S. Administration officials:
1) to sustain and strengthen the security of Israel in the context of threats from Iran, including, but not limited to: calling upon the United States to establish unprecedented levels of advanced understandings and channels of cooperation with Israel to confront these threats. This includes a security aid package improving Israel's unilateral ability to thwart or respond to an Iranian breakout toward a nuclear weapon;
2) to reassert the readiness of the United States to use all means, including military power, to ensure that Iran can never threaten the United States, Israel or others with nuclear weapons, including, but not limited to: calling upon Congress to provide the President with advance authority to take such action if needed;
3) to intensify efforts to combat Iran's support of Hezbollah and other perpetrators of international terrorism; and
4) to work with friends and allies to combat Iranian abuses of human rights and Holocaust denial, including, but not limited to advocating directly to the United Nations and the Upper Midwest based foreign consular corps that all relevant U.N. bodies no longer indulge Holocaust denial or genocidal statements by government officials.
We further urge Members of Congress to scrutinize carefully the inspection, verification and sanctions relief provisions of the JCPOA to ensure the strongest feasible safeguards against the development of a nuclear weapon, and we will remain engaged in dialogue and advocacy with our Senate and House representatives on these and related concerns consistent with the goals of this statement. The JCRC executive director and staff are empowered to use their discretion to carry out the provisions and intent of this statement on the agency's own accord and in collaboration when possible locally, nationally and internationally including, but not limited to, reaching out to the media, communicating with elected and public officials and organizing educational events.
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community in Minnesota and the Dakotas, the JCRC appreciates the widely varying views within our community on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Therefore, as the JCRC and its staff continue to work tirelessly in their advocacy for Israel and its security, the JCRC will continue to serve as a communal forum for education and respectful dialogue among members of the Jewish community in Minnesota and the Dakotas on the JCPOA.