letters to the editor 88.
(photo credit: )
Speculate on Iran...
Sir, - Iran has become like the weather. Everyone talks about it, but no one knows what to do about it. Now Larry Derfner has written "Against a preemptive holocaust" (January 28) in response to Benny Morris's chilling depiction of how Iran, once it attains nuclear weapons, will use them against Israel and murder us all.
Derfner's speculative contribution lies in warning us not to dare to preempt Iran militarily as that would involve taking millions of Iranian lives. He says we are going to be tempted to do this because it appears that no US administration will dare to take on Iran.
I do not know for certain that he is wrong, but the US has firmly committed itself to not allowing Iran a nuclear option. The US also has means of preemption that are much more varied and accurate than anything Israel has.
I would thus speculate that the preferred and most likely scenario is one in which the US prevents Iran from attaining nuclear weapons. I hope Israel's leaders will not have to come to the decision Derfner believes will be disastrous for us. Of course, not taking action might at that point be even be more disastrous.
...trust in the Lord
Sir, - Re Prof. Benny Morris's "This holocaust will be different" (UpFront, January 19): I think the event is described - somewhat differently - in Ezekiel 38 and 39. The outcome will be one of the most glorious victories in the history of Israel until now. The rattlings from some corners are not to be taken seriously, only the words of the Lord in the holy Scriptures, notably Isaiah 40 and 41.
Israel is inclusive to a fault
Sir, - As a lifelong Republican who held a senior-level position in the Carter administration, I have rarely, if ever, agreed with Jimmy Carter's politics; yet, theologically speaking, I assumed we were on the same page since he claims to be a born-again Christian. However, statements on page 213 in his recent book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid show me that we are not. I doubt we are even in the same Book.
Clearly Mr. Carter is a proponent of a misguided concept called Replacement Theology, the belief that Christians have replaced Jews as God's chosen people. In Romans 11, the Apostle Paul warns Christians against adopting such a belief. Because Mr. Carter has chosen to embrace a lie over the truth he, in effect, condones Palestinian terrorism, painting Israel as the pothole on the road to peace.
I lived in Israel for a year in 2005 studying Israeli politics and people and conducting interviews for my weekly international radio broadcast, Front Page Jerusalem, now produced out of Jerusalem. Contrary to the image depicted by Mr. Carter, Israel is inclusive to a fault.
Israelis consistently go the extra mile to benefit their Arab neighbors. Repeatedly they have extended the olive branch to the Palestinians, only to have it trampled into the ground.
Mr. Carter dangerously twists history to fit his mindset. Evident even from the title of his book, Carter's assessment of Israel is dishonest. "Palestine" is not a nation and apartheid, defined as "an official policy of racial segregation," is the absolute opposite of Israel's policies. Over a million Arabs are citizens of Israel and prefer to remain as such. Arab Israelis serve in the Knesset. Arab Israelis receive the same government benefits as Israeli Jews.
Carter has either chosen to overlook the truth, or failed to do his research. Either way, as a professed born-again Christian he has a duty to be factual and a mandate from God to "comfort ye, comfort ye, my people." Condoning terrorism against Israel is not comforting, especially when the message comes from a former president of the US.
Mr. Carter did not complain about the metal security barriers, metal detectors and other security procedures put into place to protect him during his recent visit to Brandeis University. It is hypocritical for him to condemn Israel for being forced to erect barriers and security fencing to protect its citizens from those who have openly declared their intention to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.
Isle of Palms, South Carolina
Sir, - Having just celebrated Robert Burns, born on January 25, 1759, it seems fitting, at a time when politicians court dishonor worldwide, to put power barons in their place by recalling what the respected Scottish poet thought of all their titles and trappings:
For a' that, an' a' that, / Their dignities an' a' that; / The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth, / Are higher rank than a' that."
Must Jews be busybodies?
Sir, - There are two concepts bandied about by liberal Jewish sources that have no basis in actual Torah teachings. One is tikkun olam, the modern notion that Jews must be busybodies correcting every ill of the surrounding culture, and by so doing gaining honor and respect for Jews in the world. This is hooey, contrived to inflate the egos of know-nothing clergymen and draw in the rubes.
There is a concept of tikkun in hasidic teachings, but it is directed at correction of the individual and his immediate world, an achievable goal.
The second concept is that of being "a light unto the nations," a phrase totally absent from scripture. Yes, there is a mention of the idea in Isaiah, but it is not an exhortation to political correctness but rather the effect of following the Torah and building a society which may guide those nations who recognize it to a closer relationship with the God of Israel.
A Jew who leads a peace march while eating a ham sandwich accomplishes nothing.
It's a gamble
Sir, - Reading your excellent Hebrew Business Post of January 29, I was intrigued by the news that the UK city of Blackpool is waiting for a license to operate what will be the country's largest casino ("Blackpool waits for blackjack"). It set me wondering why we don't have such an institution here in Israel - but then I came to the conclusion that at the moment the whole country is one big gamble, so we don't really need one!
DAVID S. ADDLEMAN
In great style
Sir, - In our corrupt and greed-ridden world, Yulia Tymoshenko's democratic ideas would be hard to implement. However, one of her suggestions has been easy to adopt: her idea for a new hairstyle.
I have long hair and am always looking for new ways to style it. I once tried the so-called French braid, which proved a real disaster. Anyway, the Ukrainian approach works just fine for me.
Thank you, Ms. Tymoshenko. I'm grateful ("A lot on her plait," interview with Ruthie Blum, January 25) .