Iran, the bomb
Sir, – The late Israeli satirist Efraim Kishon once lamented that
Israel, by not allowing the Arab armies to win the Six Day War, forfeited
worldwide sympathy, understanding and eloquent eulogies. Now we hear that Israel
would be cast as the aggressor should it attack Iranian nuclear facilities (“An
Israeli strike would be a blessing for Iran, says dissident,” January
Would allowing the Iranians to drop a nuclear bomb on us be a
thousandfold PR blessing? YONATAN SILVER
Sir, – With reference to
Barry Rubin’s “Israel is not about to attack Iran: Get used to it!” (The Region,
January 30), ludicrous is the word that comes to mind when describing Rubin’s
version of Israel’s “other” options.
How about some divergent thinking?
If and when Iran has a nuclear bomb, all the cutting-edge defense technology and
deterrence won’t come even close to being acceptable protection.
could easily be delivered by container ship, to name one of many methods
obviating the use of missile delivery systems. It would have the added bonus of
securing the sender’s anonymity.
Then Rubin’s pièce de résistance: “If
and when there was a clear Iranian threat to attack Israel, then Israel could
launch a preemptive assault.” There’s nothing preemptive about an assault on a
clear threat; preemptive means to stop the threat, and there’s only one way to
ensure this: Stop the possibility of Iran ever producing a nuclear
Prevention must be the name of the game, not
Get used to it! STEPHEN DUZZY
Sir, – In “The Zionist
imperative” (Column One, January 27), Caroline B. Glick finally brought up the
issue everyone has been avoiding.
The world around us is becoming
surreal. How is it possible that there is almost no reaction to all the crazy
things US President Barack Obama is doing? What is wrong with American Jews?
Don’t they realize that they will be partly responsible for enabling another
Holocaust? I really do not feel like being incinerated by a nuclear
This is not a joke. Our lives are at stake. The mutually assured
destruction doctrine is inapplicable to Iran, but most American Jews have never
even heard of the Mahdi.MLADEN ANDRIJASEVIC
Sir, – On many
occasions and from various platforms, President Obama has declared that the US
is and always will be committed to Israel’s security.
While there is
absolutely no reason to suspect the sincerity of such declarations, one has to
doubt their credibility.
As is well known, Israel’s security was
jeopardized more than once in the past, and the only one that could and did
guarantee the country’s survival was Israel itself.
Yet the main reason
American assurances cannot be taken seriously is the fact that neither the US
nor any other entity can guarantee the security of the Israeli people. Can
Washington respond to every shelling against Israelis by Hamas or the Islamic
Jihad? Will the US punish the murderers of Israeli women and children? JOSHUA
Tel Aviv To each his own
Sir, – Eliyahu Federman, author of the very well
written “The right of Jews to seek a homogeneous community” (Comment &
Features, January 30), wrote: “The point is not which one is right, but that
different communities have different standards that should be
In our democratic country, the right of every kibbutz to be a
homogeneous community with different standards was and still is respected. This
respect should be given also to other homogeneous communities.JOSEPH M.
Reward abilities Sir, – Amid the controversy over the
reauthorization of the Tal Law (“Activists set up mock army base to protest Tal
Law,” January 27), it is gratifying that Oren Almog, the young man blinded and
facially disfigured by the 2003 bombing of the Maxim Restaurant in Haifa, has
now voluntarily enlisted in the IDF. It is especially admirable that the army,
after assessing his skills and abilities, has reportedly given him a substantive
assignment that will make full use of his potential.
Almog’s refusal to
take advantage of an optional exemption from military service that the army
affords to people with disabilities raises the question as to why such an
exemption exists in the first place.
Social protest leader Daphni Leef
offers perhaps the best and most recent illustration of the senselessness of
this policy. She was reportedly exempted from military service because of
epilepsy, yet she was not only smart enough to draw attention to the need for
social justice in Israeli society, she possessed the skill to rally the public
to her cause and maybe even reorder our national priorities. That is true
leadership, leadership Leef was not mandated to exercise in the service of the
country’s defense and security.
The optional exemption from military
service on grounds of disability is the relic of an outdated mindset that
equates disability with inability, and stereotypes people with disabilities as
being incapable of competition on an equal footing with so-called able-bodied
It is time to radically change our thinking and make
enlistment for people with disabilities mandatory.
Only when we learn to
look past the disability of the whole person will we stop treating people with
disabilities as fundamentally different and begin according young men such as
Oren Almog the opportunity for service and self-fulfillment they
deserve.AVRAHAM (RAMI) RABBY
Tel Aviv More Nayots
Sir, – On January 24
you ran an item under the headline “Record $225m. in Israel Bonds sold
overnight.” The bonds were bought by Miami Jews. Their certificates undoubtedly
will wind up in safe deposit boxes or private safes.
In 1960, a group of
American olim, wanting to build a neighborhood of their own in Jerusalem,
secured land from the JNF. Its members then turned to American holders of Israel
Bonds to lend them to the mortgage fund of the Association of Americans and
Canadians in Israel (AACI). There they would be used as collateral for loans
from banks to finance the construction of Nayot, a neighborhood of 84
apartments, each with six rooms, a private garden and separate
The American bondholders willingly lent their certificates and
the neighborhood was built. We moved there in 1961 and returned the
certificates, with interest, after two to three years. Special mention
should be made of Werner Loval and Murray Greenfield, who led the
project. Nayot proved itself. It saw no emigration, even in Israel’s
Newcomers from the West today should be able to live
together for at least the first crucial years in conditions similar to what they
had before aliya. If there were 100 Nayots throughout the country, it would
dramatically increase aliya from the West.
The original Nayot didn’t cost
the government or Jewish Agency a cent. Why doesn’t the AACI, which today
specializes in luxury cruises to China and other exotic places, as well as
Thanksgiving Day dinners and Fourth of July outings, build more Nayots? ELIEZER
The Page 1 photograph on January 30 (“Those who
serve”) was of government workers protesting outside the Prime Minister’s
Office, and not as reported.
The January 29 photograph on Page 3, of
Defense Minister Ehud Barak speaking in Davos (“Barak: Assad deserves to be
toppled by his own people”), did not include IAEA chief Yukiya Amano.
apologize for the errors.