December 2: Matter of time

The shadow of Chamberlain clouds our horizon. We would do well to remember what Churchill said: You were given the choice between war and dishonor.

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December 1, 2013 23:00
Letters

Letters 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )

 
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Slippery fingers

Sir, – From the photo of US Secretary of State John Kerry holding his thumb and index finger together (“Cutting Iran some slack,” Diplomacy, November 29), it is clear that he is holding peace, a very tiny, itty bitty peace, that is sure to slip out of those slippery fingers because the left hand, which is not shown, is cutting Israel’s throat.

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I would ask that next time you show the whole picture.

But how could you know? After all, Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman never disclosed her months of secret negotiations that would sell out peace and Western Civilization. We do know how terribly she performed with North Korea.

Shouldn’t we all know by now? By we, I mean Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Post columnists Gershon Baskin and Uri Savir, Justice Minister and peace negotiator Tzipi Livni, the European Union, US President Barack Obama and all those who do not see the whole picture.

BARRY WEISS

Jerusalem

Sir, – The Obama administration promised to be transparent.

But it is not. It has been the most secretive administration in the modern era.



The news that it has been negotiating with Iran for months should be the diplomatic lie of President Barack Obama’s years in office. That he can brazenly say the Geneva deal is one that all countries should rejoice over makes for all the more reasons to question his motives and actions.

The world cannot trust the United States to be a force for good. Europe might rejoice because it hopes to do ever-increasing business with Iran. Russia thinks it can control Iran but is mistaken; no one controls Iran except the mullahs, and their aim is to bring about a Shi’ite world order under their control.

Who knows what will happen now. Everyone must protect himself and know that American pledges are not worth anything.

THELMA SUSSWEIN
Jerusalem

Sir, – The Geneva deal was a huge mistake that will be regretted when we discover that Iran cannot be trusted.

President Obama committed one of the worst blunders of his failed administration. It will have a negative effect not only on America, but on Israel and part of the Middle East as well.

Iranian leaders are lying when they say their nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes, including medical research and the generation of electricity. No concessions must be made.

AL EISNER

Silver Spring, Maryland

Matter of time

Sir, – Martin Sherman (“Will the West withstand the Obama presidency?” Into the Fray, November 29) provides a macro- strategic insight into US President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy.

One can deduce from Sherman’s analysis that Obama is deliberately orienting his grand Middle East efforts to forging an alliance with a nuclear-armed Iran at the expense of Israel and the Gulf states. If this assumption is correct, it’s only a matter of time before the region will be at war.

The shadow of Chamberlain clouds our horizon. We would do well to remember what Churchill said: You were given the choice between war and dishonor.

You chose dishonor and you will have war.

MALCOLM DASH

Zichron Ya’acov

No, no, no

Sir, – A report, important enough to make your front page (“Vatican advance team to plan pope’s visit,” November 29), makes me wonder if our prime minister will be asked by the Vatican for a quid pro quo in the form of control of the Cenacle (location of the Last Supper) on Mount Zion.

I do not know what the pontiff has to offer, but please, Mr.

Netanyahu, practice saying no!

HARRY ORENSTEIN
Elazar


Tragedy, mystery

Sir, – With regard to “Esther Pollard: Obama, pardon my husband instead of a turkey” (November 28), what is it that US presidents fear about the release of Jonathan Pollard? What secret is stored in the sentencing file they keep locked away from the public? They are determined that Jonathan shall never walk out of prison, free to speak about his case. Why? There is no definite indication of a connection to anti-Semitism or animosity for Israel, though these cannot be ruled out. Can Pollard’s unjust length of incarceration be a lesson to Israel or to Jews working in government positions of trust? Possibly.

However, the severity of the sentence, the determinative involvement of then-secretary of defense Caspar Weinberger, and the ongoing opposition of certain government officials to clemency indicate an even stronger reason.

With so many former high-ranking government officials now calling for an end to the excessive punishment, Pollard should be a free man – unless some threat to person or country demands that presidents ensure a secret will not be revealed. Was Weinberger somehow involved in what may not be disclosed? Certainly he played a role in turning Pollard from a convict into a victim.

And what has prevented successive Israeli prime ministers from demanding Pollard’s release as a condition for satisfying the demand by American presidents for many Israeli concessions? The case of Jonathan Pollard presents us with a tragedy and a mystery. A man is being sacrificed.

But for what?

BERNARD SMITH

Jerusalem

Altered perceptions


Sir, – An agreement in which the Palestinians get everything they ask for, except the right of return, will give them exactly what they would have received had they settled the conflict in 1967 or even 1949. If that is all they get, their suffering over the past 46 or 64 years has basically been for nothing, and must be attributed to the failure of their leadership to settle at the time.

It is clear that the Palestinians must envision a future in which the available offers get progressively worse. Given their values, the only way to do this is to take bits of territory incrementally off the table, holding out the prospect that further delays will lead to their getting basically nothing.

Israel’s settlement activity does this. Like them or not, and contrary to the case usually made, the settlements are the one aspect of the conflict that can result in an agreement.

Alter the Palestinians’ perceptions in the right direction and it is possible to create a dynamic in which their leaders will agree to peace.

YALE ZUSSMAN
Weymouth, Massachusetts


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