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|Dan Levin||July 24th 2015|
Jewish Voice and agencies
Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Times Square July 22 evening in protest over the recent landmark nuclear deal with Iran.
Protest organizers proclaim ed: â€œWashington is prepared to give Iran virtually all that it needs to get to the bomb. To release $150 billion to Iran will result in the expansion of worldwide terror.â€
Former New York Governor, and Presidential contender, George Pataki joined the chorus of voices urging lawmakers to block the deal.
â€œReject this deal. Protect America. Protect Israel and protect the world from freedom,â€ Pataki said.
The Stop Iran Rally Coalition â€” a bi-partisan group â€” is also calling out Sen. Charles Schumer, saying he â€œhas the votes as presumptive leader to override this dealâ€¦.If this deal is not stopped, New York voters will know whom to blame,â€ protestors shouted. Sen. Schumer said in a statement Wednesday that he wasnâ€™t ready to make a decision on the deal yet.
â€œIâ€™ve read the agreement and Iâ€™m seeking answers to the many questions I have. Before I make a decision, Iâ€™m going to speak at length with experts on both sides,â€ the lawmaker said.
In a statement released to the media, Senator Schumer said: â€œIâ€™ve read the agreement and Iâ€™m seeking answers to many questions I have. Before I make a decision, I am going to speak at length with experts on both sides â€¦ itâ€™s a serious issue, and Iâ€™m studying it carefully.â€
Speakers at the rally included Mort Zuckerman, Chairman of US News and World Report, former US Rep. Allen West (R-FL), former director of the CIA, James Woolsey, former Manhattan district attorney Robert Morgenthau, former New York Governor George Pataki, Jerusalem Post columnist and prolific author, Caroline Glick, Harvard law school professor and civil libertarian Alan Dershowitz, FOX News contributor Monica Crowley, former congressman Pete Hoekstra, WABC radio host John Batchelor, actor Tony LoBianco, Steve Emerson, founder of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, and many others.
In an address that energized the massive assemblage, Allen West declared, â€œI want President Obama to know one thing: You may say you have done something no one else has ever done. You know why no one else has ever done it? â€˜Cause itâ€™s a damn stupid thing you just did!â€
The deal â€œgives mullahs $150 billion as a signing bonus â€¦ thatâ€™s real money that youâ€™re putting in the hands of murderers,â€ said Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick. Pointedly directing her remarks towards Senator Schumer and other members of Congress, Glick said, â€œUnless you have no honor and no shame,â€ to vote against the deal and persuade others to reject it as well.
While former CIA director James Woolsey was leveling criticism at President Obama for not providing US support to the 2009 pro-democracy protests in Iran in his address, the rally crowd chanted, â€œWhere is Chuck? Kill this deal!â€
"We're here as Americans to speak with one voice to say stop Iran now, reject this deal," said George Pataki, the former three-term Republican governor of New York.
"This is a God-awful deal, this must be rejected. Congress must do its job and stand up for the American people, stand up for our safety and say no to this Iranian deal," he added, according to AFP.
Organizers played a montage of news reports about bombings around the world carried out by extremist groups linked to Iran. "Iran has been killing Americans for 36 years," it said. "Stop the deal."
Scholar and Democrat Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor, appealed to fellow liberals to side with Republican opposition.
"It is a bad deal for Democrats. It is a bad deal for liberals. I am here opposing this deal as a liberal Democrat," he was quoted by AFP as having said.
He called the deal bad for America, bad for world peace and bad for the security of the Middle East. He said the Presidentâ€™s approach in this agreement was undemocratic, since it can be seen as a treaty that requires 2/3 approval in Congress. Dershowitz was also critical of President Obamaâ€™s taking the military option â€œoff the tableâ€ and warned that Benjamin Netanyahu might be taking â€œwhatever actionsâ€ necessary to stop Iran, as was reported by The Jewish Press.
Recent polls have suggested that of the 79 percent of Americans who heard about the deal, 48 percent disapprove.
Another prominent Democrat expressing opposition to President Obamaâ€™s Iran deal was former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who served in this capacity for 34 years. According to reports, one of his last cases involved prosecuting banks for laundering money for Iranâ€™s support of terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas. Morgenthauâ€™s father, Henry Morgenthau was the Secretary of the Treasury under the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The co-organizer of the Stop Iran! Rally was longtime Jewish activist and prolific speaker Jeffrey Wiesenfeld who also served as master of ceremonies.