America’s record...

Sir, – Isi Leibler (“Netanyahu speaks for the vast majority of Israelis,” Candidly Speaking, October 4) could also have pointed out that – never mind US President Barack Obama’s poor track record on taking decisive military action – America’s record of preventing rogue states from obtaining nuclear weapons is hardly encouraging, whether this stems from a failure of intelligence or political will.

North Korea and Pakistan immediately come to mind. Indeed, had the US kept its eye on the Pakistani nuclear ball, Iran might well have found it much, much harder to try and develop its own capabilities.

PETER SIMPSON
Jerusalem


...and the Iran issue

Sir, – I started reading the letter “Freedom in theory” (October 3) about Iran’s nuclear program and the writer’s trouble understanding the tactics used by various nations to “push Iran into a corner.” Then I realized I must be reading a letter by someone who lives outside of Israel – and possibly not even on this planet.

The writer wanted the countries of the world to grant Iran the freedom to do whatever it wanted – in terms of nuclear ambition, I assume – as long as it respected its neighbors in not using the technology for terrorism.

To use some cliches, as this woman was so wont to do, I can only tell her that pleasantly taking a leap of faith and giving Iran the green light to annihilate its neighbors and possibly the entire world would be like a policeman handing over his gun to the carjacker and saying, “Go ahead, shoot me before you take the car.” Or maybe it would be more like paraphrasing the old cliche of locking the house after the robbers have stolen (in this case, obliterated) your property.

Iran is not some child that can be placated by asking it to play nice with its neighbors in the sandbox. It is a country where the call of the ayatollahs is not for prayer but for jihad, and nothing is going to get in their way, especially nice neighbors.

The letter writer needs to come to this country and see for herself the end results of some of the terrorist attacks that Israel has endured, including thousands of rockets launched into our cities and against our people.

She needs to also see firsthand the result of the terrorist attacks in her neighboring country, my former homeland, the United States, that left 3,000 people dead and scores of children with parents gone. The World Trade Center site is still a graveyard! I only hope the writer really “shares Israel’s concerns” and, instead of seeing Iran as a bullied nation, realizes that it is one bent on destruction and that she, like many others, are in its sights.

DEBRA FORMAN
Modi’in


Sir, – Already before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s UN speech, a reader of the Post wrote a decisive letter to the editor advocating against a strike on Iran (“No first strike,” September 10). He showed how difficult a distant air attack would be and highlighted the risks of a protracted war and ancillary problems like Hezbollah and Hamas, an economic standstill, low immigration and high emigration, and Pakistan or North Korea still supplying Iran with nukes.

Further, even if Israel could mount a successful attack, Iran would eventually develop its own bombs on top of what Pakistan or North Korea supplied.

An Israeli attack would increase Iran’s militancy and resolve, and raise the levels of regional militancy, danger, upheaval and extremism to new heights – in which Israel would be the first target.

The only solution is diplomacy, to lower the political temperature, for example with a return to the long-ignored Arab League peace plan, the Geneva plan or the so-called Clinton parameters, which would isolate Iran and its supporters.

Israel simply doesn’t have the demographic, geographic or military power to dismiss all peace plans, attack one of the largest countries in the non- Western sphere, and take over the land of another people, the West Bank.

Power has its limits. Large countries like the US can get away with occasional miscalculations, like in Vietnam. But such mistakes lead small countries, as Thucydides recorded with regard to ancient Athens and its “Sicilian expedition” during the Peloponnesian War, to existential catastrophe.

JAMES ADLER
Cambridge, Massachusetts


Cold turkey

Sir, – There was a strike by Haaretz workers, and they threaten more such activity (“‘Haaretz’ workers vote for one-day strike, canceling today’s newspaper,” October 5).

Where can Europeans, the hard Left and the other anti- Zionists and Jew-haters now turn to find anti-Israel quotations by Israeli nationals? How will they cope with this disaster?

LESLIE PORTNOY
Netanya


Nothing new

Sir, – In his column “UN Security Council Resolution: Two states for two people” (Encountering Peace, October 3), Gershon Baskin recycles a proposal he drafted in 2009 to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It appeared at about the same time that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was supposed to call for new elections, but never did.

Maybe Baskin could tell us, if in fact Abbas has no mandate from his people, how he can negotiate any kind of an agreement with Israel.

If the Bethlehem “peace” walk was recently canceled because of threats by Palestinian activists who objected to the presence of Israelis, then who’s really interested in his proposals? Baskin mentions UN General Assembly Resolution 181, the famous Partition Plan of November 29, 1947, but disingenuously omits the Arab world’s reaction to it, as well as the ensuing war against Israel.

Is it any wonder his ideas to resolve the conflict have not borne any fruit?

MATTIAS ROTENBERG
Petah Tikva


Sir, – Poor old Gershon Baskin carries on, bashing out his timeworn cliches and seemingly believing them. For instance, two states for two peoples, complete with a pre-prepared UN resolution.

There is no need for another resolution. There already is one providing for two states, and it is actually much more generous to the Arabs. It is called Resolution 181. Perfect, no? The Jews accepted it. One small problem, though – Baskin’s Arab friends rejected it and have gone on rejecting it to this day.

They call it the Nakba. Whoops! There goes his idea. But it was good while it lasted.

ANTHONY LUDER
Rosh Pina


Come to Jerusalem

Sir, – Jerusalem is the essence of joy, and has been from biblical times. The city has been streaming with visitors from both here and abroad. There have been so many happenings during the intermediate days of the remarkable Succot festival that it is difficult to pick out one or two, but I wish to cite the Israel Museum’s exhibit of succot and a visit to the Old City.

The succa exhibit was unbelievable in its variety and artistic ingenuity. I would suggest that next year there be an international competition as well, giving out awards to participants from various countries.

The Old City of Jerusalem is almost too small to have accommodated the many thousands of visitors that came. Just walking the streets that were alive with history, just seeing so many members of the priestly caste giving their age-old blessing to pilgrims, just seeing the many little museums made one well aware of how necessary Jerusalem is in terms of the identity and pride of a people whose history goes back thousands of years.

May next year truly be the year when millions of Jews and Christians make the pilgrimage here a priority and experience the sanctity, reverence and unmitigated joy of the blessings of this Holy Land and the city of God, Jerusalem.

TOBY WILLIG
Jerusalem


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