The Iran deal
The ink is barely dry and already the Iranians are rewriting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to suit their own hegemony (“Concern grows over Parchin complex in Iran as construction is spotted,” August 28).
When you start treating evil as a pliable entity, you have no right to expect a result that is ethical and moral. Given Iran’s mendacious history (and America’s anti-American president and spineless secretary of state), how can anyone think he or she can turn a shark into a minnow? Any student of Iran’s theology is familiar with the practice of taqiyya, which encourages a Muslim to lie through his teeth to gain an advantage over a non-believer.
There were thousands of Iranians marching with chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” only hours before the JCPOA was signed, and the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, published his own book the same week.
What did our leaders think? Did they think they were Boy Scouts? The Iranians say “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” Don’t our negotiators believe them? There are only two ways to stop Iran: First, Congress must reject the JCPOA and require the Iranians to come up with a better deal. Second, although Obama would rather have openheart surgery than give aid to Netanyahu, the US must back Israel’s military by supplying it with 16,600-kg. Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) precision- guided bunker busters and the B-52s to carry them.
Israel has other options, but it must act quickly and unilaterally.ALAN B. KATZ
Melville, New York
While no one has publicly accused US President Barack Obama of willfully paving the path to Iran’s nuclear capability, there is no doubt that he is intent on bulldozing his deal through Congress, regardless of the sentiments of the vast majority of the American public and their elected representatives.
With the recent discovery of a secret side deal that allows Iran to self-inspect, President Obama’s commitment that Congress must receive all documents related to the deal, including any “entered into or made between Iran and any other parties,” is, along with his promises of “anytime, anywhere inspections” and “snapback sanctions,” clearly a myth.
What isn’t a myth is the undoing of the underpinnings of our democratic institution and the checks and balances put in place to ensure that all major international undertakings have overwhelming domestic support and are not unilaterally enacted by any one branch of government.
Important provisions in the deal have been concealed and are still coming out, but perhaps the most imperative transgression has been the ploy by the Obama administration to label an agreement of great magnitude a non-treaty, which doesn’t require the Senate’s input, consent or concurrence.
The president also committed America to this deal along with the international community prior to any congressional approval.
Furthermore, Obama’s tunnel-vision willingness to pursue the unequivocal release of sanctions to an Iran that is publicly committed to genocide not only jeopardizes our national security, but puts the US in a position of violating its legal (and moral) obligations to prevent genocide or merely threats of genocide.ALIZA LAUFER
Policing the arts
Ilan Evyatar (“Miri Regev’s illustrious company,” Observations, August 28) compares Miri Regev’s denunciation of Daniel Barenboim’s proposed concert in Tehran with Austrian emperor Franz’s refusal to have anything to do with Beethoven, whom he considered a revolutionary. The comparison is inappropriate.
It does not take away from Barenboim’s acknowledged genius to say that it, and his claim to immortality, cannot be compared to Beethoven. Neither can the causes championed by the two men be compared. Beethoven championed freedom for all mankind; Barenboim champions the cause of the Palestinians over that of the Israelis.
Miri Regev, in her capacity as minister of culture, has an obligation to speak out against anyone who uses the excuse of culture to extend a hand in friendship to a nation whose leaders repeatedly announce their intent to annihilate Israel.
This does not put her in the company of the Franz – who was mentally defective and had to be replaced by the young Franz Joseph. Rather, it puts her in the company of intelligent visionaries who could tell right from wrong and had the courage to speak out. Winston Churchill comes to mind, or maybe Paul Revere.ARNOLD I. KISCH
Miri Regev is right to criticize Daniel Barenboim’s efforts to bash Israel. Ilan Evyatar is not right in his criticism of her. Evyatar says that Regev is “ired” by Berenboim’s politics. “Ired?” Perhaps “enraged” is a better term to describe our legitimate reaction to this little man who is an “outspoken opponent of our government’s settlement policy and the occupation,” and has expressed support for anti-Israel boycotts.
For many years, Barenboim has exploited his cultural position to embrace our enemies and vilify Israel. His recent attempt to perform in Iran is a continuation of his obsequious antics and just another indication of his perversity.ELLEN SUCOV
Ilan Evyatar is evidently unaware of Daniel Barenboim’s adoration of Richard Wagner. The late Robert Wistrich tells us that beyond being a foremost inventor of modern anti-Semitism, Wagner was the leading proponent of the physical annihilation of the Jews. His “liberation from Jewry” meant its “complete dissolution and disappearance.” He gave German anti-Semitism a “metaphysical pseudo-profundity,” preaching “the need to cleanse European civilization from the spiritual and physical pollution of the Jews.” None of that means anything to maestro Barenboim.
In 2001, in Jerusalem, he caused a storm when he insisted on conducting a Wagner work. A few months ago he conducted two Wagner operas in Berlin. In his day Adolf Hitler, another Wagner acolyte, listened in that city to those same violent works, drawing inspiration to devise the Holocaust.
As a Jew, Barenboim shames himself in his public exaltation of Wagner. Worse still, he fouls the memory of the six million. Culture Minister Miri Regev is to be commended on her position.MURRAY ROSOVSKY
Incomprehensibly, Ilan Evyatar has completely lost the plot. Here is Daniel Barenboim, who has for years shown his animosity toward Israel, including taking out Palestinian citizenship (if such exists), and now by endeavoring to conduct a German orchestra in Iran, whose prime ambition is to destroy the Jewish state. Compare this shocking attitude to the much more famous Bronisław Huberman, who in the 1930s refused to play in Germany because of its attitude toward Jews.
What a difference between a great artist of principals and a lesser man of self-interest.BERNHARD LAZARUS