April 24: For the experts

With all this, it might well be necessary for Israel to strike.

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April 23, 2015 22:54
3 minute read.
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For the experts

While usually agreeing with Ruthie Blum, I found something objectionable in her taking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to task for not already having launched a military strike against Iran (“When resilience means defeat,” Right from Wrong, April 20). It is not that she is necessarily wrong, but there are many reasons for believing that she is not right.

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First, and perhaps above all, is the damage that could be caused to Israel by a counter-strike by Iran, Hezbollah or Syria. I am no military expert, but it is common knowledge that Hezbollah has many thousands of rockets that could hit every significant target in Israel. The damage to lives and infrastructure might well be devastating.

Second, it is by no means clear that a strike would totally derail Iran’s nuclear program. Its vast Fordo facility is deeply underground, and it could well be that there are secret facilities we do not know about.

Third, in a free world headed by US President Barack Obama, we would not be the recipients of the kind of support we’d need to carry through this operation.

With all this, it might well be necessary for Israel to strike. It also might be too late. But I would not be making easy and certain judgments about this. I would leave it to those who have the real responsibility and the greater knowledge about the situation.

SHALOM FREEDMAN
Jerusalem

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Disingenuous

Elie Podeh, who favors “Applying the ‘Obama Doctrine’ to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” (Comment & Features, April 20), wishes Israel would “take risks and offer some substantial concessions with regard to the occupied territories,” and calls objections “disingenuous because its military might could easily undo whatever has been conceded.”

The disingenuous one here is Prof. Podeh, who must know that Israelis were also assured they could easily undo the substantial concessions made at Oslo and with the withdrawal from Gaza, only to see those concessions quickly petrify into sacrosanct permanence under international pressure.

The reliability of “security guarantees provided by the United States, the European Community and perhaps other parties” has also been disproved time after time – in the run-up to the Six Day War, in the follow-up to the Yom Kippur War, and in today’s headlines as the “Obama Doctrine” encourages taking risks on a partially and temporarily inspected nuclear Iran.

MARK L. LEVINSON
Herzliya

A city’s name

Seth J. Frantzman, in “History and memory in Galicia” (Terra Incognita, April 20), continually refers to the region’s principle town as Lviv. Since the vast majority of my family originated in Galicia, it might have been a good idea to mention that Lviv, a Ukrainian name, was once called Lemberg, and then, from the 19th Century until the Iron Curtain came down, Lwow.

STANLEY COHEN
Jerusalem

Shocking!

Your April 19 editorial “Accepting the other” indicates you are shocked that there would be found bigoted arrogance among the enlightened ones in our society. My experience tells me that intolerant sufferance of the great unwashed is a universal affliction of leftist elites.

Could it be the result of a substitution of a me-centered universe for a God-centered one? Could it be the willingness to drink the Kool Aid on a range of accepted verities that brook no dissent or divergence? I have a remedial suggestion.

The insufferably arrogant elites should be required to move to small towns, preferably in the periphery. Perhaps they would need this close encounter with the human condition to realize how totally unworthy they are of leading this country, and how regular people exhibit character and dignity, even if they kiss a mezuza and vote Likud.

DOUGLAS ALTABEF
Rosh Pina


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