Sir, – There was a legendary sign on the desk in the Oval Office
when Harry Truman was president of the United States. It said: The buck stops
It looks like President Barack Obama desperately needs to be
reminded. To date, his inaction has disgraced the position of
Whoever took the sign away should put it back.
Sir, – The solid justification for American action against
Syria is the use of chemical weapons by the government against Syrian citizens.
The result was the death some 1,500 innocent people.
Now the Russians are
doing everything to destroy the credibility of this justification, saying the
Assad regime never used such weapons, so an American attack would be unjustified
and pure aggression. This line has been expressed not only by Russian diplomats,
but by President Vladimir Putin himself.
Old habits never die. The
Russians have gone back to the method they used with regard to their massacre of
Polish officers at Katyn during World War II: Never admit, deny, deny; lie and
lie until you die.DAVID BARNER
Sir, – President Obama has
become a joke. The ayatollahs in Iran must be laughing their heads
For us in Israel, though, this is no laughing matter. Since neither
the Europeans nor the US have the will to do anything, the time for Israel to
act alone on Iran has come.MLADEN ANDRIJASEVIC
Sir, – For all
the hooha about Syria, no one seems to be paying attention to the one country
that poses an existential threat to the entire Middle East and, thereafter, to
the world. The elephant in the room is Iran, whose nuclear centrifuges are
spinning ever faster and more efficiently.
The bloodthirsty assertions by
Iranian leaders of wiping Israel off the map should still be echoing worldwide.
Except they are not.
President Obama seems content to placate, appease
and procrastinate. He concerns himself with possible guarded action against
Syria, whose chemical weapons might be ghastly although Assad’s forces have
already killed tens of thousands and caused more than a million people to
Where is the logic? Or is this a case of a 21st-century king with
no clothes? MIKE DAVIDSON
Harrow on the Hill, UK
Sir, – Once, we thought that
sending someone into space was a fantasy. But it materialized.
thought that sending someone to the moon was a fantasy.
Here is my fantasy. Instead of missile batteries destroying
incoming missiles in midair, let them be programmed to instruct the missiles to
make a U-turn and return to the place from whence they came. That should stop
all missiles, conventional or chemical, once and for all.
I believe our
brilliant minds can do this.
Sir, – The United
States has made it evident to everyone who follows the news that it is not an
ally to be relied on.
Whatever Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu thought
about the value of the US commitment to Israel, he now has to wake up from his
dream. He must at this moment understand that he has to do what is really best
for Israel and not think of what the United States wants. The US doesn’t know
what is best for itself, let alone for another country.
is not able to do anything in the Middle East except state loudly that new
housing is a threat to his dream.
We now know that he is playing blind
The US stands exposed as a dandelion in the wind, and Israel
must never again think that the Americans will really come to her assistance in
a dangerous situation.TOBY WILLIG
Jerusalem Into a corner
Sir, – One
reads with interest the latest views of Uri Savir, proving again that insulting
the intelligence of Jerusalem Post readers can be an exercise of too many
journeys into the world of fantasy land (“Jerusalem,” Savir’s Corner, August
Savir writes to support his own 2001 peace proposals, which were met
with vociferous silence at the time. They suggested that Jerusalem be split
politically into three parts: Jewish areas, Arab areas (which would include the
Dome of the Rock and Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount) and, believe it or not, a
United Nations sector.
He writes: “If we can have peace, with security,
and maintain sovereignty of all parts of Jewish Jerusalem, then giving up east
Jerusalem is not only worthwhile, but necessary.”
Having been a
negotiator for the Oslo Accords, was Savir awake during the past 20 years? One
can only shudder with disbelief that there still exist defenders of Palestinian
intentions and their record of rejection, escalating demands and violence. It is
discouraging to read such nonsense coming from one of Israel’s esteemed
Savir’s opinions are based upon the good will and truthfulness
of Palestinian promises. It is not their words that he should be accepting – it
is their deeds.
As the Islamic world continues to boil over, it would be
national suicide to offer any kind of Arab sovereignty over any part of
Jerusalem until we have a more rational and peaceful partner.
Sir, – Uri Savir has outlined a neat, easily understandable
solution to what has escaped the rest of us for so long – a peace plan with the
Palestinians. But first, answers to a few questions will help convince skeptics
Savir writes that the “Palestinian leadership understands” that
Israel will not accept a return of refugees into Israel. My question: Why don’t
the Palestinians, who “understand” this, not concede this point now? It would
certainly give Israel greater incentive to concede on other points.
points out the pragmatic benefits to Israel for dividing Jerusalem for peace.
Foreign countries, “which never recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” would
now do so and relocate their embassies from Tel Aviv. My question: From 1948-
1967, east Jerusalem was controlled by Arabs. Why at the time didn’t any country
recognize the rest of Jerusalem as our capital? Why would they now? Savir
advises dividing the city in two: Palestinian control over Palestinian areas,
and Israeli control over Israeli areas (including the Western Wall). Questions
for clarification: How would the city be divided? With a concrete wall?
Electrified barbed wire? A line painted in the street? Also, what happens if
(when) a Palestinian extremist throws a firebomb on those praying at the Western
Wall, or if a rocket is fired at downtown Jerusalem or the Knesset? How should
Israel react? And my last question: Would Savir live in Jerusalem should his
plan be implemented? A column devoted to these questions would do a lot to move
skeptics into Savir’s Corner (or out of it).
Sir, – In the article “Israel launches first Brain Hack”
(August 30), there is a paragraph telling us that in the future, cars might be
able to “break faster.”
My car breaks too soon for my taste. Sometimes
it’s because I have engine problems, and sometimes because I have to repair the
Rehovot The Editor responds: The phrase, of course,
should have been “brake faster.”
Imbibing on words
Sir, – An old-new
contributor for our weekend pleasure. What a delight to read Avraham Avihai’s
peek at the past and his words of insight for the present and future (The
POSTman Knocks Twice).
What a great cocktail of reading