Via The Hill:
The Iran nuclear deal has put new strains on President Obama’s relationship with Jewish donors, a pillar of Democratic fundraising.
The U.S.-led agreement — endorsed by France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia — has attracted criticism from Democratic allies of Israel, including Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.).
Schumer, the third-ranking Senate Democratic leader, predicted the “disproportionality” of the agreement would spur Congress to pass additional sanctions against Iran.
“It was strong sanctions, not the goodness of the hearts of the Iranian leaders, that brought Iran to the table. And any reduction relieves the pressure of sanction and gives them the hope that they will be able to obtain a nuclear weapon,” he said.
Jeff Robbins, a Democratic lawyer and fundraiser based in Boston, said many Jewish Democrats agree with Schumer.
“There is a strong concern that in the frenetic eagerness to secure a piece of paper, an eagerness that could not have been more ostentatiously advertised, the United States and others went for a deal which was not consistent with the leverage that was had.”
He said that, in pursuit of a deal, the administration took “crude, petulant and harmful swipes at Israel” that were “difficult to understand from a friend.”
Robbins also criticized Secretary of State John Kerry’s claim that Israeli officials were disparaging the emerging deal without being fully briefed on its details.
“Stuff that seems aimed of fomenting a view of those who are concerned about Israel as somehow obsessive-compulsive or worse,” he said. “We’re talking about a potential nuclear weapon in the hands of Iran.”
A Jewish donor to Obama’s campaigns who requested anonymity to discuss the deal frankly, accused the president of “selling Israel down the river,” adding that it is a “betrayal of our closest ally in the region.”
Rep. Eliot Engel, a senior Jewish Democratic lawmaker from New York, called the agreement “very disappointing.”
“We need to be very, very careful with the Iranians,” the ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee said on CNN over the weekend. “I don’t trust them. I don’t think we should trust them.”
Good to see the bipartisan criticism over this one-sided “deal” get louder. That said, would someone alert the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who apparently thinks the only people who have serious issues with it are Republicans who would “mindlessly” oppose the President no matter what anyway? Just because he’s used to reflexively standing shoulder to shoulder with whatever the administration does doesn’t mean the rest of us have to …