Sir, – As “Same world, opposite risk assessments” (Analysis, November 25) and “Experts: Europe will benefit economically from Iran accord” in the same issue of the Post show, it is clear that the agreement hammered out by the P5+1 and Iran is mainly to the benefit of Iran and the European Union’s economy.
Again, “it’s the economy, stupid!” This was to be foreseen since the United States does not want to get involved in another major conflict in the Middle East. The agreement allows each party to go home claiming a big achievement – the West avoiding war and Iran getting rid of oppressive sanctions (which, ironically, were the main reason that brought them to negotiations).
Unfortunately, as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu indicated, the best opportunity for effective sanctions has been lost.
It will be very hard to verify compliance by Iran and even harder to reimpose sanctions if necessary.
But maybe there is a ray of sunshine. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is a charismatic figure who worked out an excellent deal for Iran.
But he also stated publicly in Geneva that it was unacceptable for one country to threaten another. He likewise asked the world for mutual respect.
This gives Netanyahu an opportunity to project a positive reaction rather than a negative one. Since it is precisely Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who first threatened Israel, Netanyahu should publicly declare to the world that Israel appreciates Zarif’s words. He should add that it is interested in good relations with the Iranian people and looks forward to mutual respect.
Further in the spirit of Zarif’s remarks, he should say that Israel looks forward to a cessation of name-calling and of threats to wipe Israel off the map.
ALFRED HASSNER Rehovot
Sir, – I was not surprised by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni’s linkage between the Iran deal and an agreement with the Palestinians (“Livni: Israel must advance peace talks to help Iranian deal,” November 26), but only in that neither is in Israel’s interest in the long run.
Livni states: “Solving the conflict with Palestinians would enable a united front with Arab countries against Iran.” Which Arab countries? Which are we discussing? All the agreements smell of Munich. Maybe we need more historians and fewer lawyers making decisions or serving in the Knesset so that the right decisions can be made.
IAN LAST Kiryat Ata
Sir, – Prior to the agreement in Geneva, Herb Keinon (“Israel cautions not to rush Iran into signing an accord,” November 24) reported the words of a “diplomatic source” in Jerusalem who said that if sanctions were increased rather than decreased, Iran would “sit down quietly” at the negotiating table because it would have no other choice.
“When your foe is on the ropes, you keep hitting him until he surrenders.
I don’t know who this diplomatic source is but we need to take those words seriously – and I am thinking just now of the Palestinian issue.
Yasser Arafat was not only “on the ropes” – he had been exiled into obscurity in Tunis when the interfering busybody Shimon Peres brought him back and in the process left us with over a thousand dead and maimed Israelis. Each time Gaza is “on the ropes” we immediately feel the need to help its residents with all the utilities and goods needed to make them strong again. Each time the Palestinian Authority is “on the ropes” (and this happens frequently) we immediately prop it up again, no matter that they all are our enemies sworn to our destruction.
One can only hope and pray that in the not-too-distant future – which is looking more and more fragile – our leadership will wake up and realize that the only way to peace is as stated above. Better still, we should not wait until our adversaries are “on the ropes,” but proactively keep hitting them until they surrenders.
EDITH OGNALL Netanya
Help our survivors
Sir, – My sadness turned to fury while reading “Struggling survivors say government must do more” (November 26), which states that an effort is underway to formulate “a unified list of Israeli [Holocaust] survivors that they hope to finish within two years.”
Shouldn’t this have been done very many years ago? Won’t it be too late, especially in light of the fact that, as the article states, “an estimated 37 die every day in Israel”? This certainly confirms my long-held suspicions that the various government welfare offices plan to dither on this matter until the last of these unfortunate survivors expires, so saving the government money.
Shame on you! Get off your backsides, cut through some red tape for once and pay these unfortunate people a decent pension so that they can end their already unhappy lives in some comfort and with dignity.
LOLA S. COHEN Jerusalem Editorial bias
Sir, – I take great exception to the copy and lack of editing of the article about the horrible murder of a woman by her husband (“Jerusalem man stabs wife to death, attacks police and paramedics, then attempts to take own life,” November 25).
Not only does the term “east Jerusalem” not complement anything in the article, it shows editorial bias in what’s supposed to be a news item suggesting that Gilo is not part of unified Jerusalem, as if it were an Arab village.
If one wants to describe Gilo geographically, the proper term would be southern Jerusalem, and not east. The Jerusalem Post
does a great disservice by throwing in bias that does nothing to add to the accuracy of its news reporting and which is factually incorrect.
JONATHAN FELDSTEIN Efrat Splendid piece
Sir, – Splendid article by Yair Shamir (“International law and Judea and Samaria: It’s time to return to the facts,” Comment & Features, November 25). It elaborates and buttressed points made by Moshe Dann (“Are settlements worth it?” Comment & features, October 25). The facts are with us, but unfortunately many people can’t or won’t expend the concentration needed to digest them.
Can Shamir and Dann get together with some advertising gurus to put together a brief of legalese that will penetrate and resonate?
J.W. KRASNER Jerusalem Fight for Pollard
Sir, – The government’s liaison with Knesset (whatever that means), deputy minister Ophir Akunis, was out of order to state, as the Post reported in “Esther Pollard laments ‘nightmare anniversary,’” (November 21), that the issue of freedom for Jonathan Pollard was “not in the hands of the Israeli government, but of the president of the United States.”
This remark clearly indicates that the appeals to US President Barack Obama from President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Knesset members have carried no clout whatsoever. Obama promised before his visit here in March to review the case – and it does not take nine months to consider relieving an unjust incarnation of 29 years.
Without doubt it is time for the American president to publicly disclose the reasons he will not grant freedom to Pollard, for it is clear that he has not the slightest inclination to release him.
It is also time that the public took to the streets, both in Israel and in the Diaspora, demonstrating outside US embassies, consulates and representative institutions of the US government – as was done outside representative offices of the Soviet Union during the campaign to release Soviet Jewry. For too long we have restrained ourselves so as not to antagonize the US. We must take the gloves off now and fight for what is right.
COLIN L LECI Jerusalem