Navigating conflict with Iran

June 21, 2019


Recent Iranian attacks in the Straits of Hormuz confirm what we have always known: Iran is a dangerous and destabilizing force in the Middle East. Iran is the world’s leading state-sponsor of terror, with proxy forces throughout the region, and we strongly condemn Iran’s actions. This danger only underscores why the U.S. president must have a clear strategy for dealing with Iran.

As JDCA affirmed earlier today, President Trump must be deliberative and measured in responding to the Iranian threat. Thus far, he has responded with impulse and incompetence, most recently by ordering a targeted military strike against Iran and then calling it off ten minutes prior to launch. Military strikes should not be ordered – or called off – on a whim, and national security cannot be guided by impulse.

The U.S. military deserves more from a commander-in-chief, and the American people expect more from their president.

This administration’s reckless foreign policy is edging the United States closer to a military conflict with Iran. In response to Iran’s recent announcement it would soon increase uranium production, President Trump called on Iran to adhere to the very nuclear deal he walked away from. In response to his decision not to launch a military strike, the president is calling for diplomacy. We strongly support exhausting all diplomatic options before military action, but the president has vacillated and is jeopardizing U.S. national security interests with an incoherent and meandering policy.

As we face this increasingly volatile situation, America is isolated on the world stage and lacking credibility. Even as the administration presented evidence of Iranian attacks, our allies questioned the credibility of our claims, and Iran is taking advantage of this chaos. This is not an excuse for Iran; it is an indictment of Trump’s failed foreign policy.

On every issue, Trump is taking our country in the wrong direction, and the Jewish community understands the inherent danger of the Trump presidency. Jewish voters overwhelmingly opposed the president in 2016, and will do so again in 2020. As we learned in 2016, however, the outcome of an election is never certain and we cannot take anything for granted.

JDCA Responds to Escalation in Iran. In response to growing tension with Iran, we issued a statement earlier this week urging the president to proceed with caution and pragmatism. We also urged the president to develop a clear strategy, work with our international allies, and take into account the following three considerations: U.S. military action without congressional approval is not an option; the 2001 authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) does not apply here; and all diplomatic measures must be exhausted before contemplating U.S. military options against Iran.

Four More Years? No Thanks. This week, President Trump kicked off his reelection campaign with the same vitriol and lies that defined his 2016 campaign and presidency. The rally attracted white nationalists wearing MAGA hats, who believe Trump is their ally and will “keep America great” by continuing his xenophobic policies and rhetoric. As Jews, we see this as a real and growing danger and a betrayal of the values that have made America great throughout its history. This is why we will do everything we can to answer the president’s call for “four more years” with the following response: No thanks.

JDCA Stands with Refugees. In honor of World Refugee Day on June 20, JDCA is supporting the NO BAN Act, which would repeal Trump’s Muslim ban. Join us in writing to your member of Congress to support this important legislation today.

These are just a fraction of our activities. Every week brings challenges, and every week, we meet them. Stay informed in real-time by following JDCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so that you don’t miss anything, including briefing calls and events.

Our work is not possible without you, and we thank you for standing with JDCA as we fight for socially progressive, pro-Israel, and Jewish values.

Shabbat Shalom,

Ron Klein,
Chair, Jewish Democratic Council of America

Halie Soifer
Executive Director, Jewish Democratic Council of America