Seek Peace and Pursue It – Psalm 34.14

As a Rabbi and as a citizen of the United States, I support the agreement between the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, Russia and Iran– The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. I encourage the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to endorse this agreement.

The Obama administration has successfully brought together the major international powers to confront Iran over its nuclear ambitions. The broad international sanctions moved Iran to enter this historic agreement. Should this agreement be rejected by the U.S. congress, those sanctions will end. There will be no new negotiations, as the other member countries are fully in favor of this agreement and have no desire to re-negotiate. The sanctions regime is falling apart even now.

I understand that while this agreement blocks Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb, we recognize it does not deal with Iran’s support for terror, but that was never the purpose of these talks. Now that a nuclear agreement has been reached, I join many others who call upon the United States and its international partners to strengthen their resolve and dedicate additional resources to confront Iranian threats to Israel and other states.

Most especially, I am deeply concerned with the impression that the leadership of the American Jewish community is united in opposition to the agreement. I, along with many other Jewish leaders, fully support this historic nuclear accord.

No country conducts its affairs in reaction to the political rhetoric of foreign leaders. Our foreign diplomacy is not an unsophisticated shouting match which reacts to national leaders who speak to their domestic concerns. A mature and rational approach must always put an intelligent struggle for peace first. War, with all its terrors and destruction, is not an “option”; it is a failure of diplomacy. It is, and must be, a last resort.

  מִי-הָאִישׁ, הֶחָפֵץ חַיִּים;    אֹהֵב יָמִים, לִרְאוֹת טוֹב. Do you want to live a good life, loving each day?
  נְצֹר לְשׁוֹנְךָ מֵרָע;    וּשְׂפָתֶיךָ, מִדַּבֵּר מִרְמָה. Then stop your mouth from words of evil and your lips from deceit.
  סוּר מֵרָע, וַעֲשֵׂה-טוֹב;    בַּקֵּשׁ שָׁלוֹם וְרָדְפֵהוּ. Turn away from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

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