Democrats on Israel
Sir, – With regard to “Democratic platform removes reference
to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital” (September 5), Mitt Romney, the Republican
presidential nominee, is probably right in stating that President Barack Obama
is apt to throw us under the bus. The Democrat platform does not even mention
hope for a united Jerusalem. This is incomprehensible! Perhaps Democratic
senators and representatives should urge Obama to make a very clear statement at
the end of the election process that the party believes very strongly that
Israel is the best friend America has in the world and it will work diligently
to assure that Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, remains undivided.
take their lesson from president Ronald Reagan, who told the evil empire, the
Soviet Union, that Berlin should not be a divided city.
Sir, – Thanks go out to Hilary Leila Krieger for laying out on Page 1
of your newspaper the US Democratic Party’s frightening positions on Israel. The
news is symptomatic of the Obama administration’s entire belittling approach to
the Jewish state.
Following statements by Prime Minister Netanyahu and
Mitt Romney after the Republican presidential candidate’s visit here, it should
be clear to one and all that the real red line is not Iran “acquiring nuclear
weapons,” as the Democratic platform states, but nuclear weapons capability. Is
the Obama administration so foolish as to tell Israel, American Jews and the
world – and Iran in particular, again and again – that as long as Tehran has not
armed a weapon with nuclear capability Obama will not push? Rather than Israel
being “thrown under the bus,” as some would have it, Obama is doing everything
possible, including the lure of expanded military aid, to make sure that Israel
sits quietly inside the bus, under the illusion of security, with no hand on the
Krauthammer gets it...
Sir, – Charles
Krauthammer’s “The ‘deterrence works’ fantasy” (Comment & Features,
September 4) is long overdue. Why did it take him so long to write it? It will
be remembered as one of his best and possibly the one that will have the most
impact on the world.
Israel indeed refuses to trust its very existence to
the convenient theories of comfortable analysts living 6,000 miles from its
Ground Zero. Even more so, it refuses to trust its existence to a US president
who supports the most virulent anti-Semitic and anti-American organization, the
Sir, – Charles
Krauthammer aptly describes the traumatic situation that exists for Israel
today. He documents thoroughly how meaningless the idea is that some military
Krauthammer’s words need to be broadcast world-wide!
THELMA BLUMBERG ABRAMOWITZ
...while others don’t
Sir, – Gershon Baskin
(“Nukes out of the box,” Encountering Peace, September 4) urges Israel to end
voluntarily its policy of nuclear ambiguity and place itself under IAEA
inspection – all this so that the rest of the world will be “fully empowered” to
oppose Iran’s efforts to obtain nuclear weapons.
The purpose of Israel’s
longstanding nuclear policy is not solely, or even primarily, to be a bargaining
chip against the current threat from Iran. Rather, it is meant as deterrence
against attacks from Israel’s many other enemies.
Even if one were to
accept the untested premises of the rest of the world to oppose Iran more
forcefully, and that the opposition is successful, Israel would simply be
trading one threat for another.
In any event, the world already has all
the justification it needs if it chooses to act. As Baskin himself states, a
nuclear Iran “is an existential threat to the world.”
At a time when many
experts believe a credible military option – one we all hope will never be
exercised – is the best way to dissuade Iran from furthering its nuclear
ambitions, Baskin would have Israel voluntarily reduce its military
capabilities. Israel is the country that most reliably offers the military
option as a counterweight to the failing diplomatic track.
Baskin’s suggestion would make a nuclear Iran, and a subsequent Iranian attack
against Israel, much more likely.
EFRAIM A. COHEN
Sir, – While I agree that something needs to be done about suicidal
soldiers in the Israeli army (“Suicide in the IDF,” Comment & Features,
September 4), I do not know how much of the responsibility can fall on
Commanders are educated to watch over large groups of young
men and build them into trained combat soldiers.
These same teenage
commanders, who have been in the army for a year or so, are also given the task
of dealing with suicidal soldiers. The IDF seems to believe that for troubled
boys the army is a great chance to grow into a man; therefore, commanders tell
their soldiers to “be strong” and it will be okay.
A soldier in my unit,
who was left on base without his weapon since he had claimed he wanted to hurt
himself, told me recently that he had put a loaded gun in his mouth but just
couldn’t pull the trigger.
How a soldier can be on gunleave and not be
seeing a psychologist – until I ran to my commanders with the news – is
I do not believe commanders can make proper decisions
about how to deal with troubled soldiers. The army needs a new way to monitor
their mental progress.
The writer is currently serving in
the paratroopers brigade
Sir, – David Newman (“Evacuating Migron: An
exercise in futility,” Borderline Views, September 4), suggests that a possible
solution to evacuation could be “cross-citizenship” for those now living in the
disputed territories. Is he not aware that Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas has categorically stated that no Jew would be allowed in his new
state? Incidentally, I would like to know why Newman considers Jewish settlers
illegal, whereby the many more Arab settlers are justifiable.
Sir, – Reader James Adler (“Crossing a
line,” Letters, September 4) claims that Rachel Corrie’s death seems to have
come out of a callous, inhumane and negligent value system.
the judge in the recent trial of showing terrible bias for stating that Corrie
made the choice to put herself in danger and could easily have distanced herself
from it. In fact, it is Adler’s own terrible bias that is revealed in his
He likens Corrie’s actions to those of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson
Mandela, Martin Luther King, Lech Walensa and Erich Honecker, all described as
peaceful civil rights demonstrators, and asks if civil rights activists around
the world should stay in their homes. He completely ignores the fact, mentioned
by the judge, that the Philadelphi route, where the accident happened, was
effectively a war zone and formally had been declared a closed military
Peaceful demonstrators are all aware that placing themselves in
such a zone will involve serious danger.
MONTY M. ZION
Sir, – It
is amazing that reader James Adler can compare Rachel Corrie, who worked
together with Hamas, to the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and