The artwork on this note card was created by 5768 WRJ Art Calendar artist Césan d’Ornellas Levine.
On Thursday, the Senate passed important legislation for the Iran nuclear talks, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (also known as “the Corker bill”), by an overwhelming vote of 98-1. Applauding the vote, Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Director of the RAC, released the following statement:
We applaud the passage of a clean Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. The overwhelming support for this important bill makes clear that stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons is a bipartisan issue of concern to all Americans. We call on the House of Representatives to quickly pass the Senate’s version of the bill, so that attention can turn to the issue that really matters: negotiating a deal that ensures that Iran cannot obtain nuclear weapons. To that end, we reiterate our call to the Obama administration to remain firm in its commitment to resolve the negotiations successfully on favorable terms.
The bill, a compromise fashioned by Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sets in place a period of up to 52 days for Congress to review an agreement with Iran, during which the President cannot roll back sanctions imposed by Congress. However, the bill does not provide Congress with an up-or-down vote on the Iran deal, which could throw future negotiations into uncertainty.
The Reform Movement has been actively engaged in the effort to pass this legislation. In the lead-up to the vote, Rabbi Jonah Pesner urged Senators to vote in favor of the legislation, provided that there were no further amendments attached to it that would upset the bipartisan compromise. On Tuesday of the Consultation on Conscience, attendees lobbied their elected officials on the bill. Further, hundreds of people from across the Reform Movement have written to their Senators in favor of the legislation with no amendments.
Our concern about nuclear proliferation generally is also rooted in Jewish values and Jewish interests. The biblical commandment to “seek peace and pursue it” (Psalms 34:15) and Jewish rules on warfare, which eschew weapons that would kill indiscriminately or create long-term damage to the environment, have inspired decades of Reform Movement activism against nuclear weapons proliferation. Such weapons pose a threat to the life and health of humanity and the earth.
To learn more about our work on the P5+1 negotiations, check out our Iran resource page.