SOUTH FLORIDA JEWISH JOURNAL
Biden tells Jewish leaders why Iran Deal is necessary
By Marvin Glassman
Vice President Joe Biden addressing a group of South Florida Jewish leaders, stated that the Iran Deal is necessary for the safety of the United States, Israel and the rest of the world.
"It is a good decision for the world, the region and it's a good deal for Israel and the gulf cooperation states. It will make us and Israel safer, not weaker," said Biden.
Biden spoke to the leaders at the invitation of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Weston) at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center in Davie.
The Jewish leaders that attended the meeting with Biden were prominent in many Jewish organizations.
Among those attending were: Rabbi Jonathan Berkun of Aventura-Turnberry Jewish Center in Aventura, Rabbi Bennett Greenspon of Temple Beth Emet of Cooper City, Debby Eisinger, Scott Ehrlich, Lori Green, Barry Wilen of the Posnack JCC, Debbie Gober, Dan Newman, Sammy Schulman of Jewish Federation of Broward County, Jacob Solomon of Greater Miami Jewish Federation and Hava Holzhauer, Florida Regional director of the Anti-Defamation League.
"Iran will never build a nuclear bomb. I promise you that," said Biden in opening his remarks before the leaders, addressing a concern of many of the leaders that Iran can't be stopped from building a nuclear bomb.
"There is also the idea going around that we can't inspect the military facilities. It's simply not true. We can, with cause, inspect any place in Iran if we believe that there is illegal activity taking place."
Biden also addressed the concern of leaders that Iran will receive funding to be used to aid terrorism against Israel and the United States.
"The Iranian people were overjoyed with the agreement. Why were they overjoyed? Because the funds will be used to fix roads, repair schools and improve on domestic issues in Iran. The funds will not be used to support terrorist groups."
Biden also took issue with the beliefs of leaders that Israel is against the Iran Deal.
"Not all Israelis are in line with the position of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. I have met military experts, Israelis who served in combat, who think the Iran Deal is good for Israel," said Biden.
Before closing the meeting to the many media representatives, Biden emphasized that it is vital for the world to expect President Obama to keep his word for an Iran Deal.
"The one question I am always asked is: Can you deliver? Just imagine what would happen to our influence when the president cannot deliver on an agreement that the world thinks is important," said Biden.
Following a 90-minute question and answer period closed to the media, both Wasserman Schultz and some of the Jewish leaders spoke on their discussions with Biden.
"He was forceful. I admire Biden. He made a good case for the Iran Deal. But in the end, I was not moved enough to change sides," said Wilen.
"The bottom line is that I can't trust Iran because they want to destroy Israel, I can't support Biden's position even though he moved me," said Wilen.
"I came into the meeting being strongly opposed to the agreement. I admire both Biden and Debbie Wasserman Schultz and was swayed to the point of revaluating my thoughts on the Iran Deal. I can safely say that Biden made a passionate plea," said Green.
Wasserman Schultz had not firmly decided whether or not she would support the Iran Deal.
"I am never afraid to stand on principle. This is a decision that has to be made with my head, but also with my Jewish heart," said Wasserman Schultz to reporters following the meeting.
"Iran is an evil regime. I know that Iran is the world sponsor of terrorism. If Iran cheats, will the cheaters be caught? These are issues I have to study before I decide on my support or not of the Iran Deal," said Wasserman Schultz.
Approximately 1,000 protesters lined up the street outside of the JCC for four hours while the meeting with Biden took place. The protests were organized by multiple organizations.
"We are all here for the same purpose to stop the Iran Deal from taking place," said Carol Sculnick of Boca Raton, who also attended the International Summit For Israel that took place on Aug. 30 to gain support against the Iran Deal.
Many of those who attended the summit, sponsored by American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and Jewish Federation of Broward County, met with Biden at the Posnack JCC.
Following the meeting with Jewish Leaders, Biden flew to Atlanta to meet with Jewish leaders there to discuss the Iran Deal.