Matthew Weiner, Carolyn Strauss Join 96 Noted L.A. Jews in Open Letter Backing Iran Nuke Deal

Hollywood figures endorse Obama plan in full-page ad in LA’s Jewish Journal

Matthew Weiner, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Gehry (Getty Images)

“American Jewish Supporters of Israel,” a group of 98 prominent leaders of Los Angeles’ Jewish community — many of them noted figures in Hollywood — are coming out in support of the impending nuclear deal with Iran.

In a full-page ad scheduled to appear in Thursday’s edition of L.A.’s “Jewish Journal,” the organization says, “We strongly encourage Congress to approve the proposed Iran nuclear agreement,” adding, it’s “in the best interest of the United States and Israel.”

The open letter includes signatures from philanthropist and entrepreneur Eli Broad; famed architect Frank Gehry; TV writer-producer Norman Lear; “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner; “Game of Thrones” executive producer Carolyn Strauss; producers Lawrence Bender and Mike Medavoy; UTA agent Peter Benedek; and WME agent Rick Rosen, among others.

“I believe with every fiber of my being that if you did a poll right now among most Hollywood Jews they would be leaning towards this deal,” L.A.-based Democratic political consultant Donna Bojarsky, who signed the letter, told TheWrap. “It doesn’t mean I’m not a little nervous about it, but there is no question we have to try this for America. We’re not going to war anymore.”

While the signers of the open letter acknowledge that Iran is a little light on trustworthiness, they insists the agreement is solid.

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

The Iran negotiations have become a sticking point among some in the Jewish community who want to ensure Israel’s security in a hostile region. With ISIS breathing down Israel’s neck on one side and Hamas attacking Israeli cities on the other, Jewish voters are increasingly worried about Israel’s safety.

Many in Republican Party have publicly come out against the Iran deal. Democratic New York Senator Chuck Schumer called it a “tragic mistake,” and former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew who ran unsuccessfully for vice president as a Democrat in 2000, recently accepted the chairmanship of United Against Nuclear Iran. The group had been led by Gary Samore, a former nuclear adviser to Obama, until he abruptly resigned on Monday claiming he changed his mind about the agreement.

But while the Jewish community is divided on the issue, many in Hollywood believe the deal is the best way to stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb in the near future.

Others feel the deal puts Israel in a dangerous position.

“Giving Iran the capability to build or even potentially build nukes in the way that is being proposed is akin to handing a bank robber a machine gun in a bank and telling him, ‘Don’t worry we will teach you how to properly use it,’” Relativity Media founder and noted conservative Ryan Kavanaugh told TheWrap in an exclusive blog. “Rome is falling, and were trusting our good ol president Obama to create ‘change.’”

Thursday’s open letter follows a similar one signed by 36 retired U.S. generals and admirals published in The Washington Post on Tuesday. A letter signed by 29 of the country’s preeminent nuclear scientists, which also supported the deal, was published in The New York Times on Saturday.

Congress has until Sept. 17 to vote on a resolution of disapproval on the deal.

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