Readers weigh in (again) on the speech to Congress
Sir, – With regard to Netanyahu determined to deliver Congress speech despite reports” (February 10), I was only a year old in September 1938 when the Munich Agreement was signed, giving in to Hitler’s threats in the hope of avoiding war. My family was in Antwerp. We thought we were safe. Miraculously, we survived the war.
All of this comes to mind when I see, with trepidation and irony, that Munich once again is the scene of another blind act of appeasement, this time to the Iranian bully. It is with this background that I evaluate today’s chaotic events.
I view Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to the US Congress with historic eyes rather than in the narrow political realm. Yes, I might be in the minority both here and in the US, but when I hear US President Barack Obama say “What’s the rush?” in pontificating his ominous support for Iranian nuclear appeasement, I am brought back 75 years. Is it all going to happen again, this time even more horrendously (if that is possible)? In this dark hour as the clock ticks down to unavoidable decisions, I pray fervently that both Israelis and Americans remain clear-headed and determined in opposing the evil engulfing us.YITZCHAK BEN-SHMUEL
Sir, – After reading Izzy Lemberg’s clear and concise “Man of peace” (Comment & Features, February 9), it becomes crystal clear that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has no alternative but to accept the invitation to address a joint session of Congress on the issue of preventing the emergence of a nuclear Iran.
Lemberg’s reference to the tragic failure of the Carter administration vis a vis Iran brings to mind the warning of the late philosopher George Santayana: Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
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Sir, – With regard to “Biden’s office says he won’t attend Netanyahu’s March congressional speech” (February 8), it is obvious by now that the Obama administration is going to allow Iran to become a nuclear state.
From President Barack Obama’s entry into the White House, he has demonstrated, first by his speech in Cairo, his empathy for Islam, the religion into which he was born. This has translated into his refusal to admit that terrorism worldwide is mostly Muslim-inspired, and his antipathy toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
What is surprising is that Secretary of State John Kerry and many Democrat politicians are willing to go along. The reason probably two-fold: the fear of being bullied by powerful and growing Muslim communities in the US and accused of Islamophobia, and Iran being an enormous market that many in the West, including Europe, would like to tap. They blind themselves to the fact that a nuclear Iran, with its rockets capable of reaching well beyond the Middle East, is a danger to world peace.ISIDORE SOLOMONS
Sir, – I seems to me that the petty rebukes of Prime Minister Netanyahu by the White House are more than mere peevishness at the Republicans, and even open support of the Zionist Union’s Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni in our coming election.
Indeed, why would President Obama go to so much trouble to twist the arms of Democrats to boycott the speech and leave Jewish Democrats squirming? Could it be that Obama is slowly trying to weaken Israel by undermining Netanyahu’s call to reject the coming capitulation to Iran’s demands? Since Netanyahu is the only strong voice in the world warning against Iran’s intentions, the US president must silence him in order to get the deal with Iran accepted, and in so doing leave Israel severely weakened and alone.
Could it be that this is Obama’s real agenda for his last two years in office? JAN GAINES
Sir, – Here is my suggestion on the dilemma of getting the message of the Iranian threat across to the American public while doing minimal damage to relations with US lawmakers.
The present controversy should continue, as it arouses growing interest in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s words of warning. Then, a week or two before the date, the event should be moved to the AIPAC conference, with clever publicity attracting maximum media coverage.
America will listen and get the true picture of the threat posed by the imminent agreement with Iran.
This, of course, leaves the problem of canceling the appearance before Congress, which can only be handled by our top diplomatic experts in cooperation with the Republican leadership, which should understand our predicament.
President Barack Obama will note the change of venue as a gesture toward the White House and Democrats, who all will surely be very interested in the speech at AIPAC.LEON CHARNEY
Sir, – For the second time, having virtually endorsed Mitt Romney in our last election, Benjamin Netanyahu is about to insert himself in US politics. This will hurt support for Israel in the long-run.
I have been and will remain a supporter of Israel – but less so if Netanyahu again undercuts our president. Remember, more than half of the US voters chose our president. Twice.
If you continue on this path, public support for Israel will be reduced.MICHAEL ENTZ
Sir, – Your editorial “Netanyahu’s speech” (January 26) was overly concerned that the speech to Congress would disrupt Israeli-American relations.
President Barack Obama is not America. Congress represents America as much as the president. Based on the Republican victory in last November’s midterm elections, Congress now represents America more.
Prime Minister Netanyahu didn’t ask to get involved in American politics. He was asked to speak by the speaker of the House of Representatives. If he had refused, it would have been a real slap in the face.
Your prime minister was given a valuable chance to explain to America and the world the grave danger caused by the recklessly prolonged negotiations over Iran’s nuclear bomb while US sanctions have been largely lifted and Iran’s centrifuges keep spinning.DAVID C. GOODMAN
Sir, – If your prime minister wants to play politics here, I suggest that Israel become a US state or he immigrates and gets voting rights. Otherwise, I suggest he stays home.
I know his opinion on Iran’s nuclear program. I don’t need a kindergarten lesson. We in the US are trying diplomacy instead of war. The Republicans prefer the latter, except that their children will not be the ones who do the fighting.
You want to attack Iran? Go for it with your own people. Your troops, not mine.MICHAEL HESS
Incline Village, Nevada
Sir, – In “Biden’s office says he won’t attend Netanyahu’s March congressional speech,” you quote Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid as saying that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming visit was “causing serious damage to Israel’s strategic relations with the United States,” all in the name of a political act meant to “gain him a few more votes in the election.”
Which reminds me: Two poor Russian Jews are about to face the tsar’s firing squad. The captain of the firing squad goes up to the first Jew and says, “Do you want a last cigarette?” The Jew replies, “No, I don’t smoke.”
His friend gives him an elbow and says, “Avraham, take the cigarette. Don’t cause trouble.”MICHAEL E. SOUTHERN
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