They’re not here
I read with interest the March 2 letters from readers in the US about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech (“Welcoming party”), especially those who have been “supporters” of Israel but might now stop their support because of the speech and the prime minister’s so-called chutzpah.
First, when they wrote in, they hadn’t yet heard the speech. Second, Netanyahu is not doing this for political reasons.
If they lived here, they would understand how important it is for Iran to be stopped. They are not here when planes fly over their houses at night to go to war. They are not here when their cities have red alerts at all hours of the day. They are not the ones who have sons and grandsons defending this country.
They are not the ones who feel and know how small our country is.
Most of all, if they decide not to support Israel, they are endangering their own lives wherever they might live.HAVIVAH GOLDSMITH
Our prime minister – not the Likud candidate – is in Washington to address Congress on the nuclearization of Iran, a matter of vital concern to the State of Israel and the world. Yet all we have heard from his opponents is criticism, as if this were a political step taken to garner votes.
From what I have heard, Benjamin Netanyahu invited his main opponent, Isaac Herzog, to join him in Washington and present a united front on this critical issue. So who is politicizing the matter? Herzog has proven his unsuitability as a national leader, as the security of the State of Israel should override any political considerations.ANNABELLE HOROWITZ
Kudos to Obama
When Prime Minister Netanyahu accepted the invitation to address a joint session of the US congress, he did not intend to speak only to the Republican senators and representatives.
He intended to speak to all members of Congress. There was no “political” agenda regarding American parties. The ones who converted it into a political episode were the Democrats, headed by President Barack Obama.
Those who think the Democrats who absent themselves from the chamber won’t hear what Netanyahu is saying in real time are probably mistaken. Now that Obama has aroused their interest, they, like many others, will be glued to their televisions since it will undoubtedly receive wide coverage.
Those who aren’t will have ample opportunities to hear the highlights on every news broadcast the same evening.
In short, we can thank President Obama for attracting inordinate attention to Netanyahu’s speech and maximizing its impact.HAIM SHALOM SNYDER
With regard to “What we should learn from Moses – the first Jewish fundraiser” (Comment & Features, March 1), my wife pointed out to me that it was not Moses. Aaron preceded him in raising funds for the golden calf.LARRY ISRAEL
Reading a map
I am confused by the report “Oxfam: Rebuilding Gaza could take 100 years if Israel keeps blockade” (February 27).
My confusion comes from looking at a map and seeing that Gaza has a border with Egypt. For a blockade to be effective, it would have to be both an Egyptian and Israeli blockade.
I do not understand why the headline singles out Israel. I assume someone in Oxfam can read a map.
Oxfam seems to ignore the fact that if Hamas makes peace with Israel, there would be no need for a blockade. The restriction is not made for no reason at all, so one has to wonder why the group blames Israel and not Hamas.MICHAEL H. DAVIS
Cost of housing
With regard to “Housing woes” (Editorial, February 27), the government should apply the same principle as for natural gas: Intervene and break the monopoly.DANIEL BRAUNSCHVIG
With regard to “The Chamberlainization of Israeli politics” (Into the Fray, February 27), Martin Sherman, I think, is very much aware of why Israeli leaders are displaying weaknesses that eventually will undermine Israel’s existence.
Only a war similar to the Yom Kippur War will wake these leaders, perhaps too late, out of their slumber. There were nearly 3,000 Israeli soldiers killed in that war, a trauma that we have not yet erased from our souls. Why can’t Mr. Sherman say what he knows to be true: We hide under every rock and behind every tree to avoid our children being killed and maimed.
Our leaders will wait to the last second before calling up troops to save our land from Arab military aggression. Perhaps we are incapable of having large numbers of our soldiers killed. Who can think of this without fear and trembling? But if we are not resolved to this terrible situation and are not willing to sacrifice our soldiers, how can we Jews continue to sing our national anthem and have a Jewish, Zionist land? MELVIN TAL Jerusalem Show the swagger The excellent “Oh, to be Abdullah!” (Another Tack, February 27) by Sarah Honig should nudge Israel to shut up and stop arguing (almost impossible), and start showing the pride that King Abdullah of Jordan has showed.
Very little talking and straight-forward action. That’s why the international community admires him. He looks at his enemies and acts.
I’m sick of Israel trying to be nice to its enemies (including US President Barack Obama) in the hope that they and the rest of the world will like us. They won’t. They will only respect us – and that’s if we respect ourselves and make them see the strength of our justice.
The king of Jordan did the right thing. He didn’t apologize. He didn’t play nice guy. He hit them hard and they got the message. He didn’t bring in the wounded enemy to be treated in his hospitals.
Nice guys always lose. You shouldn’t try to be friends with your mortal enemies. It just doesn’t work.MICHAEL SCHNEIDER
Do the right thing
As we prepare to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, Israel’s continued refusal to recognize it is morally reprehensible.
A visit to Yad Vashem should convince all Israelis. This is even more salient because if Iran has its way, Israel will not exist to mark a century since the Holocaust.
It has been said that Israel’s position is designed to mollify the Azeris, as Jerusalem values its relationship with Baku as well as the access it gives to Iran’s northwestern border.
Notwithstanding both Azerbaijan’s close alliance with Turkey and their continuing hostilities with Armenia, it can be argued that Israel is being uncharacteristically meek in worrying about offending Azeri and Turkish sensibilities.
Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose animus to Israel is no secret, would probably find it more in his interest to turn a blind eye to Israel’s change of heart and not to pressure Baku’s relationship with Israel, if only to prevent Iran from becoming the regional hegemon.
Sometimes doing the right thing is more important than political expediency, but occasionally, principles and interests coincide. It’s about time Israel did the right thing and recognized the Armenian genocide.STEVE ADESSKY
“The truth about Gush Etzion” (Comment & Features, March 2) was written by Davidi Perel, and not as stated.
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