September 11: Arrogant bully

No matter how Erdogan’s screams might escalate, the facts are clear: Israel did nothing wrong.

September 11, 2011 05:33
letters March 2008

letters good 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Arrogant bully

Sir, – What a wonderful reply to Turkish Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan’s bullying tactics (“Rather than issuing apology to Turkey, PM toasts navy for Gaza blockade,” September 8).

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We have nothing to apologize for. Any nation that cannot defend itself properly cannot continue to exist in today’s Middle East.

No matter how wild the cries from Turkey and no matter how Erdogan’s screams might escalate, the facts are clear: Israel did nothing wrong.


Sir, – Your commendable editorial “Turkey’s shift” (September 8), which deals squarely with the arrogance of that country’s prime minister, says it all in the following, which is worthy of repetition: “We might shell out more for Japanese cars made in India than for Japanese cars from nearby Turkey, but that’s a smaller price to pay than taking existential risks and turning ourselves into Erdogan’s vassal state.”

A logically proud response!


Melbourne, Australia

Sir, – With regard to “Erdogan freezes defense trade with Israel, calls it a ‘spoiled child’” (September 7), if anyone is acting like a spoiled child it is the Turkish prime minister and his cohorts.

They wanted a UN investigation of the flotilla fiasco in the mistaken belief that Israel would once again be castigated for daring to defend itself.

Surprise, surprise – they didn’t receive the outcome they expected. And after various leaks they tried to delay the Palmer Report’s publication, but to no avail.

Since then they have been having temper tantrums and lashing out at all and sundry with any connection to Israel. If this is not acting like a spoiled child I don’t know what is.

Erdogan is doing what all the anti-Semitic governments do – use Israeli currency to curry favor in the Islamist world. He should grow up.

Petah Tikvah

IDF as blunderbuss

Sir, – The alleged settler attacks on army vehicles is indefensible (“After Migron demolitions, settlers take revenge at IDF base,” September 8). But so, too, is the employment of the armed forces of the people of Israel as a blunderbuss against Jewish homes and families in obeisance to High Court decisions influenced by a far-left network of NGOs.

The IDF has only one raison d’etre, and that is the defense of Israel and the lives and property of its citizens. What happened in Migron does not fit any of these categories.


Prevent waste

Sir, – Regarding “Margalit pulls out of Labor contest, backs Herzog” (September 8), it is very disappointing to see no action by the state controller, who by law must receive the voters’ roll at least 20 days before an election.

It’s a pity that existing laws are not taken into account rather than waiting for the day after the elections to declare them ultra vires. Imagine how much money will then have been wasted!

Kiryat Ono

Who’s the ingrate?

Sir, – Regarding “Robert Gates calls PM an ‘ungrateful ally,’ report says” (September 7), the former US defense secretary apparently did not notice that ever since President Barack Obama made his initial settlement- halt demand on Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Palestinians have refused to even consider negotiating with Israel.

Gates is perhaps trying to cover up his own major failure in not having halted the development of the greatest danger facing the Middle East and perhaps the world: the Iranian nuclear threat. He also shows a total lack of understanding of Israel’s uniquely delicate position, and our prime minister’s burden of responsibility in dealing with the numerous threats Israel faces from an increasingly hostile Arab and Islamic world.

All the former secretary’s criticism does is add a little more hostility and resentment toward Israel at a time when it especially needs support from its true friends.


Sir, – The Obama administration has made no secret of its hostility toward Israel and has on several occasions publicly humiliated its leaders and belittled its security interests.

Indeed, these baseless and hateful remarks casting Israel as an ungrateful ally emphatically underline just how deeply the administration has distanced itself from perhaps the only stable, supportive and truly grateful and appreciative American ally in the Middle East.

Kiryat Arba

Sir, – Regarding Robert Gates’s declaration of Netanyahu as an ungrateful ally, do I understand this correctly? Turkey receives increasingly sophisticated weapons while it murders its Kurds, denies the US military landing rights and descends increasingly into radical Islamism. The Saudi king gets a bow and continues to receive advanced weaponry as his country foments radicalism. Hillary Clinton praises Bashar Assad as a stalwart for Middle East peace immediately before he begins murdering thousands of Syrians.

The US promotes the Arab Spring in Egypt as that country descends into anarchy, throwing its peace treaty with Israel into doubt. And Obama presses Israel (despite previous agreements) to agree to the pre-’67 borders.

Now, what was it that Netanyahu was supposed to be so grateful for?


Austin, Texas

Gates not wrong

Sir, – It is with sadness and trepidation that I, an Israeli Jew with children serving in the army, feel compelled to agree with Herb Keinon’s analysis (“Gates’s negative comments on Netanyahu: Just a ‘cigar’ or something much more?,” September 7). What I find most significant about this rehash of Robert Gates’s statement is that it succinctly presents a view – quite accurate in my opinion – of the current strategic relationship between Israel and the United States that we would be wise not to dismiss lightly.

According to Keinon, Gates listed the steps the US government has taken to ensure Israel’s security, stating that the US “received nothing” in return. In this case, we could have something much more than a cigar.

Let us not forget that Gates replaced Donald Rumsfeld a few months following Israel’s ignominious 2006 defeat by Hezbollah in the Second Lebanon War, during which the Bush administration had hoped Israel would neutralize the terrorist organization.

Instead, according to Gates, Hezbollah has amassed an arsenal bigger than that of most countries.

Operation Cast Lead, which started on December 27, 2008, was ineffectual in ridding the Gaza Strip of Hamas. Instead, the terrorist group has continued to increase the quantity and quality of its deadly arsenal of rockets and missiles with which it consistently attacks Israel’s civilian population.

These two defeats undeniably reflect poorly on the ability of the Jewish state to protect itself from the existential threat posed by a nuclear Iran while encircled by Tehran’s satellite clients who are armed with very significant arsenals. From this perspective, particularly if we add Israel’s loss of Turkey as a strategic ally, one must admit that Gates is probably right.

America is committing its resources to protect a small and very vulnerable country with a population one-third the size of metropolitan New York City.

That country has consistently failed to heed the advice of its strategic partner, particularly at a time when the US is exhausted by a decade of war and dreading its own mounting budget deficits.

Petah Tikva

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