The Chazaq Jewish organization in Queens on Wednesday said Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) deserves the thanks of American Jews for coming out against the Iran nuclear deal after much deliberation, even as reports indicate he won't lobby other senators to oppose the deal.
Chazaq held its third annual large event on March 15th, at which Schumer spoke and addressed thousands of members of the Jewish community at the Colden Center. In his speech he promised to be a shomer Yisrael, a "guardian of Israel," in a reference to the Hebrew meaning of his name.
He vowed to "never put the state of Israel in danger of annihilation," in a reference to the Islamic regime in Tehran that has threatened the Jewish state with annihilation on numerous occasions.
Just prior to his address on stage, Schumer met privately with Chazaq director Rabbi Ilan Meirov and other community leaders.
In that meeting, Rabbi Meirov asked Schumer to "put politics aside and to make an honest decision that's truly best for both the United States and Israel" concerning the Iran nuclear deal, according to a Chazaq press release.
Just a few weeks later Schumer again promised to be a shomer Yisrael. But Chazaq notes that afterwards it appeared Schumer would "cave in" to pressure from the White House.
"It seemed like he was going to put his personal interests ahead of the security of Israel. It seemed like we lost our political shomer," read Chazaq's statement.
The group noted that hundreds of members of the Jewish community contacted Schumer's office to remind him of his promise to protect Israel and the US, adding, "we thought he had betrayed us."
"But this past week Schumer's conscience won out and he shockingly went out against President (Barack) Obama's proposed deal with Iran," added Chazaq. "Whether his vote will ultimately tilt the scale in our favor or not is yet to be determined. But his decision proved that at least this one time, he lived up to his name of being a shomer Yisrael. And to that we not only all owe him a quiet thank you, but we should actually call in or send him a letter making our appreciation known."
Yaniv Meirov, Schumer, Eli Gerstner and Rabbi Ilan Meirov Courtesy Chazaq