Dealing with Iran
With regard to “Nearing deadline, senior EU official says P5+1 ‘closer than ever’ to Iran nuke deal” (March 29), the Iranians are enemies and should be treated as such. You can’t defeat them by lifting the sanctions that you have successfully put in place.
You don’t deal with Iran the rule-breaker by making an agreement it is sure to break. The only ones who will be bound up by an agreement are the rest of the world. Iran is sure to “break out” and go nuclear when it sees fit to do so, especially after it acquires more cash.
Is US President Barack Obama going to irretrievably dismantle the sanctions regime against Iran and destroy the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty that protects the world in order to make an executive agreement that only he, and not Congress, gets to approve, and therefore does not have the force of a treaty? Since when is the president the unrestrained monarch of the US, and of the rest of the world as well? We are not going to stop Iran’s malicious ambitions in the world by reducing our power over it. The negotiations are analogous to making a similar deal with Nazi Germany just before World War II.
BARRY LEONARD WERNER
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that if the P5+1 makes an agreement with Iran, it will start a massive arms race in the Middle East. Isn’t this just what the US armaments sector wants? Never forget, the arms lobby is the most powerful Washington lobby of them all. Companies can see billions and even trillions of dollars in orders coming their way.
The US also has a national debt approaching $20 trillion. A massive arms race could seriously reduce this burden, regardless of the severe dangers it might pose to Israel.
Kingston upon Thames, UK
With regard to “Prosor to UNSC: End silence on persecution of Mideast minorities” (March 29), the statement by our ambassador to the UN could have a major effect on the peace process. It finally explains why east Jerusalem, with its numerous religious minorities, cannot be handed over to the Palestinian Authority and its policies on ethnic cleansing.
The threat of a global religious war that PA President Mahmoud Abbas made last November over the issue of Jews being allowed to pray on the Temple Mount – because this would “contaminate Muslim holy places” – is the type of religious apartheid that the world cannot accept.
PA rule over east Jerusalem would result in the disappearance of all minorities within a generation, and leave the area almost purely Muslim, as happened in Gaza and is the case in most Muslim- dominated states in the Middle East.DAVID GOSHEN
Kiryat Ono Jews as blacks
Regarding “US magazine claims PM ‘burned his bridges’ with black Democrats” (March 29), sadly, members of the Congressional Black Caucus equated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Election Day remarks about Arab voters with discrimination against American blacks. The fact is, we Jews are the “blacks” of the Middle East.
We are the natives who have inhabited the land for 3,800 years.
Christians such as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Jeremiah Wright worship a Jewish West Bank “settler” who lived in the land 600 years before the invasion of Arabs from the east.
Jesus never met a Palestinian or heard a single word of Arabic. Arab law forbids Jews from residing in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has assured the world that any Palestine will be judenrein. What would the Black Caucus say if Abbas declared no blacks allowed? Israel is the only country in the Mideast that extends full democracy to Arabs, and the only country that upholds the banner of Nelson Mandela: One man, one vote.STEVE BERGER
Ramat Gan Cure the disease
The piece “Viable solutions for affordable housing” (Comment & Features, March 29) resonated with me in a way that was very painful. After 30 years in Israel, I cannot keep my grandchildren and great-grandchildren here because if they choose housing where they can afford it, in places like Amona (a settlement outpost slated for demolition – ed.), they will lose everything.
The proposal Ron Diller suggests ignores the fact that high prices are a symptom, while the shortage of housing in areas where people want to work and live is the disease.
What he suggests will not result in a single additional house or apartment being built; subsidizing costs will only lead to more demand, making prices skyrocket even higher.
Proper treatment is to slash the bureaucracy that delays construction for years, and light a fire under the Israel Lands Authority, forcing it to release more land. We also need to ignore pressure from the US to restrict building in Jerusalem and the major settlement blocks that under no circumstances will be abandoned.RITA STAR
Regarding “Amnesty Int’l charges Palestinians with war crimes during Gaza conflict” (March 26), the rights group still infers that Israel’s response to Hamas rockets was unjustified. It is time Amnesty International realized we are a Jewish state and do not turn the other cheek.
Jerusalem Brigadier’s backstory
Your readers might be interested in one or two additional biographical nuggets concerning Brig.-Gen. Frederick Hermann Kisch of the British army, who was mentioned in “New MKs giving up citizenship from UK, US, Russia, Argentina” (March 26).
When Baron Herbert Charles Onslow Plumer, a field marshal, was appointed high commissioner for Palestine, he and Kisch, then a colonel, got on well. Plumer attributed this to the fact that they dealt with each other on a soldier- to-soldier basis and therefore understood each other.
Later, Kisch had to discuss the question of arming Palestine’s Jews for self-protection with the officer in command of the Warwickshire Regiment, which was stationed here at the time. The regiment was commanded by a certain Col. Montgomery, who arguably, despite their similar rank, had seniority. During World War II, Kisch was promoted to brigadier, but Montgomery outranked him as a lieutenant-general.
As a brigadier, Kisch was responsible for the defenses protecting El Alamein. Presumably, he pleased his boss, for that was where the Wehrmacht suffered its first defeat. The second, about four months later, was in Stalingrad.
Kisch was eventually killed while defusing a land mine. He died protecting others.
Beersheba Archaic system
I agree entirely with reader Andrew Braude (“Streamline the system,” Letters, March 18) regarding the huge waste of money for voting slips and envelopes.
His suggestion to follow the UK system of only one ballot slip, with all the names and parties on it, and no envelopes deserves serious consideration by Israeli election officials.
In elections for mayor of London and municipal representatives, there is also a relatively low threshold. However, unlike in Israel, where votes cast for parties that don’t pass the threshold are disenfranchised, London voters are entitled to note a second and third choice on their ballots. This is a system that should be followed in Israel. It would have meant that the more than 120,000 votes cast for parties that were in the end marginalized would be democratically used.
There can be no excuse for the current archaic Israeli system!