Group of heavyweight Hollywood Jews expresses public support for Iran deal

Signatories of letter write that killing the deal would be "tragic mistake."

August 13, 2015 14:20
2 minute read.
Hollywood sign

Hollywood sign. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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A group of Jewish Hollywood movers and shakers has thrown its hat into the ring of public debate and has come out in support of the Iran nuclear deal that has caused fissures in the American Jewish community.

Calling themselves "American Jewish supporters of Israel," 98 prominent members of Los Angeles' Jewish community who are mostly linked to Hollywood signed a letter that will appear as a full-page ad in Thursday's L.A. Jewish Journal in which the group urges Congress to approve the agreement because it is in the "best interest of the United States and Israel," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

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"We appreciate that many have reasonable concerns about the risks of a complex nuclear weapons development agreement with an untrustworthy adversary like Iran," the letter stated. "We too hold these concerns, but the deal that was reached is not founded on trust; it is grounded in rigorous inspections and monitoring." 

Among the lead signatories of the ad are billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad, superstar architect Frank Gehry and TV writer-producer Norman Lear, according to HR.

Other signatories included Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, film producers Lawrence Bender and Mike Medavoy and Game of Thrones executive producer Carolyn Strauss. 

The group writes that killing the deal would be a "tragic mistake."

Matthew Velkes, COO of Village Roadshow told HR that he felt that "some of the mainstream Jewish organizations weren't speaking on behalf of a large segment of the community that has a different point of view,"

Velkes said that LA's Jewish population is "as diverse a community as one might imagine."  

Since the deal was reached last month, the the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has lobbied members of Congress to reject it.  The smaller liberal Jewish Middle East lobby group J Street on the other hand, announced a multimillion-dollar campaign to support the agreement.

Last week US Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced that he would vote against the nuclear agreement, and another Jewish Democratic member of Congress, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), said he would follow suit.

Congress must vote to approve or disapprove of the Iran deal by Sept. 17. The president has the ability to override any resolution of disapproval, and Congress has the ability to vote to override his veto.

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