letters good 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Sir, - In "Jews wake up!" (December 8) Caroline B. Glick presented three proposals on how to deal with the Iranian crisis. Her proposal on strengthening the dissident groups that live in Iran in an attempt to overthrow the existing government is an excellent one and should be fully investigated by our government.
The other two proposals, a possible second nuclear strike in the very unlikely event of a direct nuclear attack by Iran, and preemptive strikes on Syria and the Palestinians, seem way out of line with the approach of the free world in an attempt to defuse this very difficult situation.
For Israel to even think of doing it alone is ludicrous. As of the present time we have only one man in the Mad Hatters Party. Let us hope PM Olmert does not plan to join him.
Sir, - Is the situation in the region "crying out for a comprehensive solution"? ("We aim to help Israel, not force concessions, says Baker's top aide," December 8.)
No. It is only the Western democratic and liberal mind that cries out for a comprehensive solution.
Peace by piece?
Sir, - OK, give the Arabs all of Israel, piece by piece, then everyone else can live peacefully ever after. However, Mr. Baker, why not broaden the focus of your study group? Don't you think Mexico deserves to have Texas again? ("'Negotiate peace, as was done at the Madrid Conference in 1991,'" December 7.)
Oblivious to Einstein
Sir, - A group of American Sisyphus clones clueless about Islam, aided by Muslim consultants practicing taqiya or religiously-approved deception and oblivious to Einstein's maxim that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, have come up with the brand-new n+1st solution to the Middle East problem, identical to the previous n, which failed. The stone will, of course, roll down first on our heads, as it always does, but increasingly its crushing force will be felt across the world, including in the US.
Giuliani, where are you? ("Consensus to surrender," Editorial, December 8).
No paper tiger
Sir, - What the US has accomplished in the Middle East should not be completely obscured by reaction to the Iraq Study Group's report. Most importantly, the overpowering military response to terrorism has painted in bold strokes the clear consequences for foreign leaders who would provide refuge to terrorists, and has proved Americans anything but the paper tigers or passive victims some would have us be.
And because of us, those news photos of enfranchised grandmothers standing before ballot boxes with proudly purpled thumbs are now forever part of Muslim consciousness, and will rise to confront any who seek a return to the past in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond. Neither Islam's anti-democratic elements nor others elsewhere who rail reflexively against America will ever efface such images.
Minority Sunni dominance in Iraq is gone forever. That Iraqis now struggle to put an "Iraqi face" on the democracy our resolve has birthed perhaps isn't as incongruous as it presently appears: Isn't accompanying factional strife the norm rather than the exception for emerging democracies? And doesn't Kurdistan already stand out as a success story?
All this has registered powerfully on the Arab street, even as policy critics choose but to despair.
Carter and Stein
Sir, - As a student at Emory University I witnessed firsthand Jimmy Carter's bias and lack of objectivity relating to Israel and the Middle East. I even had the opportunity of confronting him about it in public. His response unleashed an anti-Israel diatribe that would have made Yasser Arafat proud ("Carter defends his book's criticism of Israeli policy," December 10).
I also had occasion to learn from Dr. Ken Stein, who resigned his position at the Carter Center this week over the inaccuracies and historical revisionism displayed in Carter's recent book. Dr. Stein is a model of integrity and academic standards that Carter would do well to learn from.
Carter's lack of objectivity and inability to prepare a credible academic thesis was the angle of my question to him about his bias 20 years ago. As an alumnus, it saddens me that his bias also discredits Emory.
It is beyond unimaginable that Dr. Stein's resignation was for any other reason than not wanting to be besmirched by Carter's poor excuse for a book.
Emory University Class of 1987
Sir, - Re "Gal-On: [Benny] Sela arrest was 'media circus'" (December 10): MK Zehava Gal-On needs to get her priorities right. She should be complaining loudly about why the serial rapist was allowed to escape, who aided him, and why only low-level policemen may be disciplined.
Sir, - Expat that I am and a keen follower of world politics, especially of my native Britain, I have had several "on the defensive" debates with family and friends on the Ken Livingstone - "is he, or isn't he" - anti-Semitic issue.
I have voiced the opinion all along that Livingstone is guilty of several things - lack of tact being one and the inability of his brain to edit his words before they come out of his mouth being another - but not of anti-Semitism.
His sarcasm and innuendo seem to be fairly distributed to all creeds ("Livingstone apologizes to UK Jews," December 10).
Sir, - "'In the beginning: Bibles before 1000'" (December 10) was completely misleading as it dealt almost entirely with the New Testament, apart from a small paragraph about the fragment of Isaiah among the Dead Sea Scrolls. This, together with a large and well-known picture of Solomon Shechter perusing a fragment from the Cairo Genizah, falsely conveyed the impression that the article dealt with the Hebrew Bible, which begins "In the Beginning."
I would have thought you would confine the use of the word "Bible" to the Hebrew canon and not use it in the context of the New Testament, which I thought everyone knew was a selection of texts proving how bad the Jews were to the Christians, and which were probably originally written in Koyne, the street Greek vernacular. These were translated into many languages, putting in the translators' own ideas each time, altering the original meaning.
The Hebrew Bible has been meticulously copied in the Hebrew by many scribes throughout the ages, and very rarely is there is a discrepancy between the scrolls, as used in the synagogue from time immemorial, to the present day.
Sir, - The subtitle "Rare fragments on display in Washington indicate that the scriptures took shape over centuries" was illustrated only by New Testament examples.
So the subsequent question "But can they shake people's faith?" is not even a question for Jews.
M. L. LEVINSON