In response to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s sharp criticism of President Barack Obama’s foreign policies in his April 19 No Holds Barred column, “Is there an Obama Doctrine?”, like all previous administrations, the Obama administration is certainly far from perfect, but the following should be considered: Obama helped at the December 2015 Paris climate summit that committed to taking major steps in efforts to avert the climate catastrophe that the overwhelming number of climate experts are warning us about.
By contrast, the Republican Party Boteach supports is the only significant political party in the world that is in denial about climate change.
Obama put together the coalition of nations that put the strongest sanctions ever on Iran, which led Iran to the agreement supported by a strong majority of nuclear, military and strategic experts, and has now greatly weakened Iran’s nuclear producing capacity, as they have given up 98% of their nuclear material and disabled most of their centrifuges and a nuclear reactor.
The Islamic Republic’s behavior on the world stage certainly still needs much improvement but there has been some progress as they recently exchanged prisoners and relatively quickly released 10 US sailors whose ship accidentally entered Iranian waters.
Also, Obama’s administration has killed more terrorists, including Osama bin Laden, than any previous administration.
Boteach states that George Bush “had a straightforward worldview that identified our enemies.” But he ignores that Bush made arguably the biggest military blunder in US history by invading Iraq, an act that arguably increased terrorism and was a major factor behind the formation of Islamic State.
Obama made major efforts to promote a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, because he recognized, along with many Israeli strategic and military experts, including all living former heads of Shin Bet, that such a resolution is essential to avert continued and potentially increased violence and increased diplomatic criticism and isolation of Israel, enable Israel to effectively respond to her economic, environmental, and other domestic problems, and enable Israel to remain both a Jewish and a democratic state.
RICHARD H. SCHWARTZ
Staten Island, NY The writer is professor emeritus at College of Staten Island.Birth pains
Perhaps this can be a last word on what Judy Montagu calls “a maternity ward kerfuffle” in her In My Own Write column, “Media gone mad,” April 20.
Several years ago, my husband and I sought to book a room in a Dead Sea resort for a few days vacation We were told that there was only one room available since there would be a large convention of Israeli-Arab principals and educators at the hotel.
My husband was a retired principal from the US and we said fine.
Upon our arrival, the atmosphere felt familiar and although little English was heard, the buzz and the array of written information displayed also seemed quite familiar.
The next morning, as I usually do at resorts, I went for a very early morning “ladies only” swim at the hotel pool.
Usually I am quite alone in these early activities and I was surprised to find the pool full of women. I must have looked surprised because one woman approached me and, in English, explained that they were from the tour group and she invited me to join them.
Later that afternoon my husband also found the pool, occupied by only a few men, quiet and relaxing.
A day later, this tour departed to be replaced by a younger, more theatrically inclined group from Tel Aviv and the atmosphere took on a much livelier aspect in every way.
My husband and I smiled at each other at the change from our quiet relaxation to the new frenetic scene.
May I suggest to those seeking segregation in hospital rooms or other venues, that comfort levels often depend on personality and common interests rather than ethnicity.
Beit Shemesh Must disagree
Thanks to Judy Montagu for her thought-provoking column “Media gone mad,” In My Own Write, April 20.
Media indeed has gone totally out of control by emphasizing some off comment that a politician makes in the heat of his desire to get elected.
I agree with this point in the column.
However I disagree totally with Ms. Montagu’s seeming to agree with that “even terrorists who have killed or maimed innocent people lie in beds not far from their victims, receiving the best professional care without regard to who they are or what they have done.”
How would parents like to have their daughter, who just gave birth, lie in a bed not too far from someone who might have just committed a murder? Judy, I always love your articles but this time I must disagree with a couple of your points.
Jerusalem Small wonder
“Woolly backs” (an occasional nickname for Leicester natives) would be horrified to hear their city described by David Newman as a small town, “European football or peace? It’s not even a question,” Borderline Views, April 19.
Leicester (pronounced Lester) is a thriving city with a population of more than 330,000, the 11th largest in England and the burial site of King Richard III.
As a long-time supporter of the Leicester City Football Club, despite living in Israel for 30 years, I concur with the author that this is the year of the minnows.
However whilst admiring the football achievements of Tottenham Hotspur, the best I can wish them is that they finish in second position in the Premier League.
RODNEY LESTER LEVER
Tsur MosheWon’t stop
Regarding “UNESCO adopts resolution ignoring Jewish ties to Temple Mount,” April 17, again I write to you as a licensed Israeli tour guide who goes up on the Temple Mount with groups.
We are always harassed and the so called “Palestinians guards” are always indignant at our being there.
We all behave ourselves. We dress properly, no crosses, no Jewish symbols and the kippot the men receive at the Western Wall are always confiscated.
Just last week a married couple posed for a picture. The husband put his arm around his wife for the picture.
Immediately out of no where comes a guard and sees me, the guide, and screams at me.
“Don’t you know this is a holy place?” I answer, “Yes, of course I know this, as the first and second temples were build here.”
Then his face turns red and he screams, “It is a lie!” My little group is amazed at this outbreak.
I look at them and say, “You see what we are up against here?” With this I am ordered off the mount and we were at the end of the tour so we left anyhow.
Can we ever put a stop to this?
Neve Ilan Heed the call
In The Jerusalem Post April 21 article “AHLC: Pledges of $1.48b. for Gaza must be paid,” we learn that Borge Brende, the Norwegian foreign minister, has urged donor countries to make good on their pledges of financial assistance for the Gaza Strip.
I hope my tongue will cause no permanent damage to my cheek, when I express the hope that these donors will heed his admonition, otherwise the Gazans may have to curtail the construction of their attack tunnels under the Gaza Strip-Israel border.