March 12: An Arab problem

Turkey can still bring the carnage to a speedy stop without firing one shot.

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March 11, 2012 22:30

 
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An Arab problem

Sir, – Turkey could easily have acted to stop the carnage in Syria from the very beginning (“Annan heads to Syria to seek political solution as deputy minister quits in highest-level defection yet,” March 9).

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Bashar Assad showed a few years ago his great fear of Turkey’s military strength. In line with his policy of supporting terror groups, he gave hospitality to the leader of the Kurdish PKU leader and his clan, who conducted constant terror against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s regime. Assad received an ultimatum as Turkish military forces approached his border, and it took only a few hours for him to decide!

Turkey is quite correct in “ruling out Western intervention.” This is a purely an Arab problem. Why should non-Arab lives have to be sacrificed to stop one Arab from killing another?

Turkey can still bring the carnage to a speedy stop without firing one shot. Perhaps the Russians and Chinese are right. The time has come for the Arab world to punish its merciless brother.

DAVID GOSHEN
Kiryat Ono

Serious business

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Sir, – With regard to “Pollard devastated that PM returned without him” (March 9), every spy knows that if arrested and taken to trial, he can be convicted of treason and get the death penalty.

The British spies Burgess, Maclean and Philby were lucky to escape but had to spend the rest of their lives in the country for which they were spying – Russia. The Rosenbergs in the United States were not so lucky and got the electric chair. Pollard got life, with no guarantee of ever being released.

Spying is not a charitable organization.

YVONNE NARUNSKY
Kfar Shmaryahu

Janus faced...

Sir, – Martin Sherman’s March 9 column (Barack, Bibi and the bomb,” Into the Fray) neatly divides US President Barack Obama’s attitudes and actions on Israel into those motivated by his core beliefs during the early part of his administration, and those more currently motivated by election considerations.

Obama’s AIPAC charm offensive was pure Hollywood crafted to ensure the audience would experience all the “warm fuzzies” and make it forget the snubs and nastiness.

American Jews will fall for it just like we all fell for the Gilad Schalit charm offensive led by our newspapers and politicians.

We were told to focus on saving Schalit and to forget the awful consequences of freeing so many terrorists. Only afterwards did we collectively say, “What were we thinking?”

When Obama is reelected with the majority of American Jews supporting him and returns to his core anti-Israel attitude, those Jews will collectively say to themselves, “What were we thinking?”

ROBERT J. GOLDSTEIN
Jerusalem

...but no different

Sir, – From Michael Freund’s “Peering behind Obama’s Purim costume” (Fundamentally Freund, March 8), you’d think everything was almost utopian in American-Israeli relations until Barak Obama took office. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower threatened Israel with economic sanctions if it did not withdraw from Sinai in 1956.

The US was totally against the preemptive strike Levi Eshkol decided to call in 1967. President Richard M. Nixon’s dramatic airlift of American arms to Israel during the Yom Kippur war had little to do with concern for Israel’s security, and more with weakening the influence of the USSR and their Arab allies. President Ronald Reagan totally condemned the Israeli attack on the Iraqi nuclear facility in 1981.

President George H.W. Bush not only insisted that we not retaliate against Iraq’s Scuds in 1991, but demanded that Yitzhak Shamir recall IAF planes Israel had already deployed. The list goes on.

With the exception of certain emphases, the Obama administration has said and done nothing different than its predecessors.

If anything, Freund could accuse many previous US presidents of wearing even more treacherous “Purim costumes” because they tried to hide behind much warmer speeches and seemingly greater commitment to Israel while continuing, and sometimes even strengthening, US policies and attitudes that were, and remain, the antithesis of any true ally’s support and friendship.

Freund has a right to criticize Obama, and I certainly don’t disagree with the basic premise that he has not been one of Israel’s best friends in the White House. But he is certainly not the underhanded and dishonest deceiver of Israel that Freund describes.

GERSHON HARRIS
Hatzor Haglilit

‘Trembling Israelites’

Sir, – If the quotation Isi Leibler attributes to Mick Davis, head of Great Britain’s Jewish Leadership Council, is accurate (“Anglo Jewish leaders and ‘Trembling Israelites,’” Candidly Speaking, March 8), it indicates unmitigated chutzpah on Davis’s part.

Israel’s government has absolutely no need to recognize that “when they do good things it is good” for Davis “and when they do bad things it’s bad” for him. The only people our government should be concerned about are us, the citizens of Israel. Davis should look to the British prime minister to take care of him.

And, contrary to his assertion, Davis should rest assured that the impact of a nuclear Iran on him would not be nearly as significant as its impact on Israelis.

In fact, as a Zionist, Davis should be much more concerned about the effect his own actions and utterances have on Israel and its citizens.

WARREN ZAUER
Jerusalem

Sir, – Contrary to Isi Leibler’s comment that UK Prime Minister David Cameron “terminated a century-long tradition of British PMs acting as patrons to the Jewish National Fund...,” there was never such a tradition and it is high time this myth was repudiated.

Tony Blair was the first contemporary UK prime minister to become a patron of the JNF, followed by his successor, Gordon Brown. When Cameron withdrew his patronage to appease the anti-Israel and Arab groups, those in the UK Jewish community probably used the opportunity to push the community back to supporting the UK Labor party by making such false claims.

How could one have expected such prime ministers as Chamberlain, Attlee, Eden, Macmilllan, Douglas Home or Heath, all known for their anti-Israel stance, to be patrons of the JNF/KKL?

COLIN L. LECI
Jerusalem

Sir, – Letter writer Neville C. Goldrein, CBE (“Leibler’s wrong,” March 9) feels that Isi Leibler exaggerated the extent of anti- Semitism in the UK.

There is constant slander of Jews in all parts of British society.

They include television and radio programs, websites and newspaper headlines and articles; museums and exhibitions; plays, films, opera and art galleries; children’s books and women’s magazine articles; even an article in a City Guide Book.

All this evidence makes it realistic to say that anti-Semitic feelings have been imbedded into enough of the population of the UK to make it only a matter of time before potentially dangerous anti-Semitic incidents take place.

LYNETTE ORDMAN
Netanya

CORRECTION

Regarding “MK Ben-Ari helps students hear the Megila” (March 9), the institute in question was not the Israel Institute of Technology-Technion, as was reported. It was the National School for Engineers, which is located on the Technion campus.

The Technion has emphasized that it respects the right of students to observe religious holidays and was not involved in any scheduling issues regarding classes on Purim eve.

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