Sir, – With regard to “Maintaining deterrence in the South... and
North” (Analysis, May 1), those who wish to really play in US President Barack
Obama’s “changed game” and restore Western credibility can imagine no better
military target than the fanatical Hezbollah – not in Lebanon but in
Remote-control action against Hezbollah there also would have the
potential to send a hot message to the evil ayatollah regime in Tehran to back
out of the Fertile Crescent and even postpone its drive for nuclear
The toll from the massacres in Syria is already reaching 75,000
souls. It is not realistic to imagine that the despised Alawite and Christian
populations (20 percent) could massacre the 70% Sunni majority, but it is not
difficult to contemplate the reverse.
Therefore, there is a red bloodline
in Syria to the east of the Alawite homeland.
And herein is the true
moral dimension to the Syrian civil war – unless, of course, the West is
prepared to send rescue ships to evacuate some one million Alawite and Christian
women and children from the coast of Syria.
AARON BRAUNSTEIN Jerusalem
The writer visited Syria extensively in 1994 while on US Foreign Service
assignment in Egypt.
Sir, – “Pope accepts Peres’s
invitation to visit Israel” (May 1) cites a statement from the Vatican saying
President Shimon Peres and Pope Francis discussed a resumption of peace
negotiations with the Palestinians.
These negotiations are a sensitive
and controversial subject and are the prerogative of the prime minister, the
foreign minister, members of the cabinet and Knesset, and ultimately the
citizens of Israel. They are not within the mandate of the presidency, which is
a symbolic office.
Unfortunately, Peres has not accepted his position and
uses the title of his office as entrance to world leaders to promote his own
political views and agenda.
Such conduct is not conducive to healthy
RAPHAEL BEN-YOSEF Ramat Gan
Sir, – I would
like to join Michael Freund in welcoming Serbia’s Tomislav Nikolic to Israel
(“‘Dobrodosli u Izrael,’ President Nikolic,” Fundamentally Freund, April 30). I
will never forget Serbian hospitality and the word dobrodosli.
1945, in the chaos that ensued after American troops liberated us from Dachau,
we – skeletal survivors – had to fend for ourselves. We were taken to a former
German military camp near Munich, where various ethnic groups freed from
forced labor camps had taken up residence.
Each of the barracks was for a
different nationality, the flags of their respective countries flying at the
entrances. My ailing mother, wounded brother and I found ourselves aggressively
chased out of a number of barracks until we came to a gate with the picture of
Josip Broz Tito.
After a timid entrance we met two ex-prisoners who
called out Dobrodosli! They helped my mother and me to settle into two empty
cots in one of the rooms, and my brother in another.
Later, when my
mother begged, they allowed us to bring my brother’s cot to our
That was Serbian kindness in the morass of post- Holocaust
heartlessness. My gratitude to Freund for his eloquent reminder.
In “Armenian patriarch calls on Israel to
recognize community’s genocide“ (April 30), a message read out by a senior
representative of the Armenian Patriarchate was mistakenly attributed to
Patriarch Nourhan Manougian. The message was in fact authored by someone
Sincere apologies are conveyed to the patriarch for any
embarrassment or inconvenience the report might have caused.
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