Americans Both Approve & Disapprove the Iran Deal

A day or two after the Iran deal was announced, I received two emails within 13 minutes of each other. The first email was from J Street saying, “TELL CONGRESS: Support This Deal.” The second was from AIPAC, “Action Required: Urge Members of Congress to Oppose a Bad Deal.”

The juxtaposition of these emails was not surprising, but what has been surprising is the narrative that both sides of the debate have been proclaiming: “Americans are on our side.” The proof, they offer, is in the polling.

If you read, you will find that most Americans support the deal. If you read AIPAC’s press releases, you will find that most Americans disapprove of the deal.

Indeed, in researching the polling data for this piece, I Googled “Iran deal polling.” On the first page of results, I saw two things: “Iran Deal Poll: 2/3 Americans Oppose” followed immediately by “Poll: Clear majority supports nuclear deal with Iran.”

The question, then, becomes: What do we do with this information?

The polling, and the debate on this deal, clearly show one thing: we are divided.

As leaders in Congress and around our communities begin to position themselves on the deal, I am choosing to look forward.

I gave a sermon on the Shabbat before Tisha B’av about baseless hatred and the Iran deal. I said that if we could predict the future, there wouldn’t even be a debate about the Iran deal. No one knows what will happen. I may have a different position than my neighbor, but we all want peace, love, and understanding. Our job is to create a world with less baseless hatred.

We can disagree, for sure. But there also comes a time when we have to accept and respect someone else’s thoughtful position, even if it is different from our own.

About the Author
Rabbi Jeremy Gimbel is the assistant rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego, CA. He produced the film, "Hatikvah: A Documentary About One Aspect of Israel," and has released 3 albums of original Jewish music.
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