letters pink 88.
(photo credit: )
Sir, - The Iranian people, seeking to rid themselves in 1979 of the shah's regime with its massive corruption, did not seek rule by religious Shi'ite ayatollahs commanding Revolutionary Guards. Ayatollah Khomeini and his extremist followers simply "hijacked the revolution."
The US government of the time, having decided that the shah should be replaced, very naively assisted Khomeini in filling the vacuum and the world is paying a heavy price.
It is to be hoped that the Iranian people will now be able to rid themselves of these treacherous rulers who want only to control the whole Muslim world and suppress the West.
The welfare of the Iranian people is of no real concern to the ayatollahs ("Iranian protester slain after huge pro-reform rally," June 16).
Check the reality
Sir, - Jeff Barak's "Reality Check" column contained several un-realities ("Netanyahu's lost opportunity," June 15).
"Symbolism is important... Netanyahu's choice of Bar-Ilan University, the flagship of the national-religious educational sector and the institute where Yitzhak Rabin's assassin was educated" carries a disturbing implication.
How about Obama's choice of Cairo, where Anwar Sadat's assassins were educated and then machine-gunned him down? What symbolism does that convey?
Barak said "ensuring that the new Palestinian state will not become an existential threat" will be backed "with the guarantee of international support for Israel's security."
When has "international support for Israel's security" ever actually stood by Israel?
UN resolution 1701 after Lebanon II was to stop Hizbullah's rearming. Did it?
American, Egyptian and European oversight was to stop arms smuggling into Gaza after Operation Cast Lead. Has it?
In 1967, UN troops in the Sinai desert were to protect Israel from Egyptian aggression. Did they?
"Netanyahu's refusal to negotiate without a list of preconditions will prove costly to Israel in the months to come." Was our non-preconditioned Oslo Agreement not costly in the months and years that came after?
Mr. Barak, check reality once more.
Sir, - Prime Minister Netanyahu made several historical points about our claim to the Land of Israel that needed to be made. He reminded the world that we, the Jews, were the ancient inhabitants here and that the Bible is our deed to the land. However, much of the world does not believe in either of these arguments.
On the whole, however, it does believe in the historicity of the Holocaust. Therefore Netanyahu was most effective in pointing out to President Obama, and the world: "There are those who say that if the Holocaust had not occurred, the State of Israel would never have been established. But I say that if the State of Israel had been established earlier, the Holocaust would not have occurred."
Claims, rights & pride
Sir, - In his analysis of PM Netanyahu's speech, Herb Keinon claimed it was delivered "a month too late" and criticized the hype before the speech as well as the choice of venue.
However, the same speech could not have been delivered any earlier as it was of the utmost importance to correct some of the statements made by President Obama in Cairo.
The importance of Netanyahu stressing that Arabs deliberately killed Jews long before there were any Jewish soldiers; that we were a nation here well over 3,000 years ago; the incessant Arab refusal to accept the partition resolution of 1947 and the subsequent Arab "wars of annihilation" against us - all were in direct response to the Cairo speech.
It is high time we again had a leader of the caliber of Ben-Gurion, Begin and Shamir, who, proud of our heritage, presented our claims and our rights proudly and forcefully. They also knew how to stand up to unfair pressure, from whatever source it came.
Let us hope and pray that our present government and coalition will do us proud and restore some of our lost self-esteem ("A solid speech - delivered a month too late," June 15).
Sir, - Premier Netanyahu placed the ball where it belongs, in the Palestinian court.
Worried about dads
Sir, - I read "Social workers, psychologists to aid religious courts in divorce" (June 15) with much concern for fathers in Israel.
Most of these so-called professionals will be used to decide custody cases. Israel should follow the movement of states like Iowa and Washington State here in the US for a Shared Parenting Law.
If you have two fit parents, both should be enabled to continue to raise their children as close to equal as reasonably possible. The only reason for adding these high-priced social workers and psychologists is to make the divorce situation like the movie Kramer vs. Kramer, pitting one parent against the other in custody situations.
This addition will not streamline any process, in my opinion; but it might steamroll many dads out of kids' lives - as has happened here in the US, where we went from a nation of 9 percent of children raised without a dad in the house to over 28% of kids raised without a dad, all due to US Federal Law changes.
Israel, do not make the same mistake.
Telling in this article was the female-only slant in the statement "...to insist that professionals are appointed on merit and to ensure that women and secular professionals were not discriminated against." This statement should have read "to ensure that both parents and secular professionals are not discriminated against."
PETER G. HILL
Sir, - "Expanding the empire," it's called. More hands for the put-upon father to grease, more pockets for him to fill.
Remember, you get what you pay for, and making divorce profitable usually (in all modern countries) means creating more single-mother homes.
PAUL M. CLEMENTS
Dads Against Divorce Discrimination
Gaffney, South Carolina
Spare me the revelations
Sir, - A decade ago, the Executive Council of the Israel Masorti (Conservative) Movement approved an anti-settlement newspaper ad by a vote of 6-3. Being in the minority, I argued (unsuccessfully) that this was not a Masorti issue but rather an attempt by a small clique to present its personal political views as movement policy (and get in a cheap shot against the highly visible Orthodox among the settlers).
As it happened, our ad was never published due to budgetary considerations (I happened to be the treasurer).
Now, 10 years later, a finite number of leading rabbis of the American Reform Movement have experienced their own revelation, one of Sinaitic proportions, and have in their infinite wisdom called to freeze settlement activity in the "occupied territories" ("American Reform rabbis urge settlement freeze," June 15).
Without going into the hutzpa of it, suffice it to say that such a public statement is no less gratuitous than for an Orthodox leader to suggest that we may soon be saying Kaddish for the Reform and Conservative Movements.