Obama at AIPAC
Sir, – I was highly disappointed by Barack Obama’s speech to
America’s pro-Israel lobby (“US would use force against Iran if diplomacy fails,
Obama tells AIPAC,” March 5). This should count for something extra because I
belong to that small group of Israelis who don’t believe the US president is our
I understand that in an election year, Obama could hardly admit
that he personally ruined whatever was left of the peace process by being more
Palestinian than the Palestinians. Still, some form of apology would have gone a
long way. He declared that Israel had the sovereign right to defend itself
against Iran but failed to add that in such a scenario the US would fight
alongside it. And he called Iran’s threats against Israel a danger to the US,
but where was his declaration that these threats are a danger to good people
everywhere? Obama called Israel the historic homeland of the Jews but failed to
say that it still is. He announced nothing against the murderous Syrian regime.
He did not say that the US embassy would move to Jerusalem. And he did not
announce the liberation of Jonathan Pollard.
How many chances can one
blow? MOSHE-MORDECHAI VAN ZUIDEN
Sir, – President Obama’s actions
speak much louder than the words of a well-written, rehearsed and teleprompted
It behooves us to remember the shameful White House side-door
entrance and exit for our prime minister. That Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton’s 45- minute telephone harangue was given full public disclosure can
only be construed as having been intended to humiliate and shame.
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is the one who repeatedly demands Israeli concessions while making no demands
whatsoever of the Palestinian Authority. His demand to commence negotiations
from the indefensible pre- 1967 lines only serves to embolden our
As the saying goes, talk is cheap, perhaps because supply
far outstrips demand.JOEL KUTNER
Sir, – I am very grateful to
The Jerusalem Post for printing the full text of President Obama’s Sunday speech
to AIPAC (“‘When the chips are down, I have Israel’s back,’” March 5).
allowed me to catch every one of his empty platitudes and promises. And it
allowed intelligent Israelis to learn how, using the same empty promises, he was
elected to office.
My little granddaughter got it right. When she
returned one day from kindergarten and I asked her what she had learned, she
replied, Harbei klumim, meaning “lots of nothings.”RAPHAEL ROSENBAUM
Sir, – One surprise announcement came from US President Obama’s
speech before AIPAC.
It was unequivocal and not subject to
interpretation: President Shimon Peres will be given the highest civilian award
by the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with all the pomp and
ceremony the US can display.
This is a mark of recognition for the State
of Israel because its president represents all Israelis.
In his speech,
Obama also defined Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, the very words used
by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. These words, which seem to claw in the
throat of the leadership of the Arab world and of the Palestinians particularly,
were uttered by the president of the United States in a major policy
We can take heart from these words and from the recognition
being given to Peres. The US is still playing with time as far as Iran is
concerned, but hopefully Obama will find the courage to say that no matter what
Iran intends to do militarily, America will be acting with Israel.THELMA
Jerusalem Disappointed man
Sir, – Alon Ben-Meir (“End the slaughter in
Syria while isolating Iran,” Comment & Features, March 5) is clearly going
to be a disappointed man.
There is absolutely nothing happening on the
ground to give any credence to the belief that the Assad regime’s days are
numbered other than his own wishful thinking.
If Ben-Meir is seeking a
different result, there is no option but for Western countries to risk the lives
of armed forces to assist the opposition at the very minimum by establishing
no-fly zones (probably now too late given the destruction and
Then he would know who to blame for the inevitable disaster –
the current occupant of the White House.
Why Israel, of all countries,
should want or be so foolish to get involved by opening its borders to Syrian
refugees is quite beyond me.PETER SIMPSON
Sir, – In his
thought-provoking article, Alon Ben-Meir demonstrates that he possesses the
analytical skills to identify the players responsible for the turmoil now taking
place in our part of the Middle East.
He is able to speak with political
and moral certainty when describing the roles of Iran, Assad’s Syria, Turkey and
Iraq, and is capable of clearly distinguishing between the forces of good and
evil. With an absolute confidence in his own judgment he even prescribes the
strategies that are necessary to ward off total chaos in our region.
is compelled, therefore, to wonder why Ben-Meir cannot apply that same clarity
of vision when focusing on the Israeli-Arab conflict.
It should be quite
easy to see that Hamas is a terror organization that does not hesitate to fire
missiles into Israeli population centers as a daily routine.
same ease, one must conclude that if the PA assiduously woos Hamas with the
intent of unification despite the latter’s adamant refusal to recognize Israel,
the PA is defiantly stating that it has no intention of negotiating.
to the above that PA President Mahmoud Abbas, the Holocaust denier, does not
miss an opportunity to glorify terrorists and diffuse hatred for Israel
throughout the PA’s educational system, and it should be quite simple to
understand who are the good guys and who are the bad.ZEV CHAMUDOT
Tikva Not for everyone
Sir, – Reuven Hammer (“Civil, Jewish law agree: Equal
service for all,” Comment & Features, March 4) tells only part of the story
regarding mandatory army service.
I have four sons who proudly marched
through army service in Israel, and one daughter who is currently a commander at
Havat Hashomer, an amazing and unique army program, so I feel qualified to make
at least this one comment: The army is not for everyone.
It’s one of the
pillars of Israeli society, but its avowed goal is to break down each young man
and woman who enters the service so as to rebuild him or her into the soldier it
Sometimes the soldier turns into someone different, not better or
worse necessarily, but different.
I’m sure Hammer, or his sons or
daughters who went into the Israeli army, can vouch for the many young people
who come out less religious, communicative, ennobled or Zionistic than when they
entered. There’s no one to blame, but the army is clearly not for
Perhaps Hammer might do well to realize this and consider that
the pikuah nefesh he’s talking about may sometimes be that of the soldiers
themselves who, for whatever reason, need to be saved from the
The photo accompanying
“The elephant in the room: Jonathan Pollard remains a hostage” (Comment &
Features, March 6) is not of the author, Aaron Lerner. We regret the error.
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