Waving U.S. flags in one hand and holding up printed posters in the other, several thousands gathered to express opposition to the Iran nuclear deal on the sidelines of the streets cutting through Times Square Wednesday evening.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) were the most mentioned names mentioned by some 24 speakers, as pro-Israel groups and Jewish community members seek to pressure the senior Jewish Senator to disapprove the agreement and vote to override the president’s expected veto.
“New York Senator Charles Schumer has the votes to stop this madness,” said Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, one of the rally organizers. “The public will not be fooled again; Americans will not stand for another North Korea. If this deal is not stopped, New York voters will know whom to blame – we will throw you the hell out.”
Wiesenfeld also reprimanded New York’s House Democrats for standing on the sidelines and deliberating their vote, claiming that the White House will round up the votes to block a 2/3 majority and then allow them to vote either way. “You were there fighting for civil rights. This is our civil rights, our rights to live,” he said. “Our Congressmembers better get their ‘tucheses’ together and oppose deal.”
Probably the most outrageous comment came from radio personality Monica Crowley. “Senator Schumer, we know you would walk over your grandmother to become the Senate Majority Leader,” radio personality Monica Crowley said to loud boos, in probably the most outrageous comment. “Now is your time to lead. Stop the deal, Senator Schumer.”
Speakers also included Congressman Trent Franks, Republican presidential candidate George Pataki, legendary Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau, former CIA director James Woolsey, renowned attorney Alan Dershowitz, and several TV and radio personalities.
“This isn’t a bad deal, it’s a God awful deal that must be rejected,” Pataki said. “This deal poses a threat to our national security here in New York; this deal is an existential threat to the State of Israel.” He also took a shot at Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton for “embracing” the deal. “We don’t need in our next president another appeaser in chief, we need a commander in chief who’s going to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons,” the former N.Y. governor said to thundering applause.
Dershowitz noted that the rally is “a bipartisan effort” to stop the agreement. “This is not just a bad deal for Republicans, this is a bad deal for Democrats; this is a bad deal for Liberals, and I’m standing here as a Liberal-Democrat opposing the deal,” the Harvard law professor declared. He added that knowing Prime Benjamin Netanyahu since the two first met in 1973, “he will never allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.”
According to new Pew Research poll published on Tuesday, just 33 percent of Americans (who Wiesenfeld called “foolish Americans") approve of the nuclear deal, while 45% disapprove. Among those the 79% of Americans who have heard about the agreement, 38% approve, while 48% disapprove. Among those familiar with the deal, 75% of Republicans disapprove it, while Democrats support it by a 59-25 percentage margin. As many as 74% of Liberal Democrats support the deal, while conservative and moderate Democrats support it by a 48-33 margin.
However, a Washington Post-ABC News poll released on Monday showed that 56 percent support the deal, while 37 percent oppose lifting economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for the regime agreeing to freeze its nuclear program. Democrats seem to be somewhat united behind the president, backing the deal by a 69 to 25 percentage point margin. As many as 41 percent of self-identified Republicans support the deal , while 54 percent are opposed, according to that poll.
Jacob Kornbluh is a political correspondent for www.jpupdates.com
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