Yalta yet again
The unforgivable decision more than 60 years ago to sacrifice Czechoslovakia for the illusion of “peace in our time” appropriately serves as a cautionary tale for Israel in its relation to the western democracies.
But there is an even more terrifying lesson from the Second World War that has generally failed to be learned, and that is the tragic capitulation at Yalta, as Charles Bybelezer has indicated (“An enemy is an enemy is an enemy,” Comment & Features, March 17).
Assuming that having helped defeat the Nazis, Stalin could now be treated as a full ally, US president Franklin D. Roosevelt paved the way for the brutal Soviet occupation of all of eastern Europe and, by means of its subsequent nuclear capability, extend the USSR’s sphere of influence over much of Asia and Africa for almost half a century.
Today, once again, the US is leading many of the western democracies into a similar alliance with an evil regime pursuing its megalomaniacal aims that will be secured by a nuclear umbrella.
There can be no doubt that if shielded by the unfolding Obama-Kerry treaty on nuclearization, the totalitarian Iranian regime will in short order occupy virtually all the countries in the Middle East – monopolizing much of the world’s oil supply – and further extend its sphere of influence right onto the doorstep of Europe and even America.
What has Iran done to warrant a free pass to global influence other than send its Revolutionary Guard to fight Islamic State under US air support, laying the groundwork for a swift and complete occupation of Iraq? Just as Stalin made a fool of the US, with its naïve, legalistic and one-sided adherence to the sanctity of a treaty, so the mullahs are laughing all the way into an agreement that will remove the West’s sanctions, its only effective source of leverage over Iran. (After all, the US military option is simply a joke.) The lessons from Yalta indicate that the desperately sought-after legacy of the president of the United States will ultimately bring disgrace to him, dishonor to his country and a future of tyranny and suffering to the many millions of peoples in the countries he has surrendered.HARVEY LITHWICK
Letter was proper
Regarding “Kerry: Congress can’t modify any Iran-US deal” (March 12), the letter signed by 47 US senators advising Iran that a deal not approved by Congress would not legally obligate the United States was quite appropriate.
The letter was based on the humane need to protect a sovereign nation from an enemy that has repeatedly sworn to drive it into the Mediterranean.
It considered the dire circumstances that would ensue should the world’s most prominent sponsor of terror be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. It properly reflected the US Constitutional balance of powers between the executive and legislative branches. And further, it did not involve Congress in delicate negotiations – it merely advised Iran of the limits of presidential authority, as specified in the Constitution.
And so it is that the letter is constitutional, perfectly legal and steeped in a rich abundance of common sense of the type absent from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Bravo to the 47 senators who put law and order above tyranny and political gamesmanship! After all, Jewish lives matter! JOHN W. LILLPOP
San Jose, California
In 1975, according to “US fails to renew emergency oil supply pact with Jerusalem” (Business & Finance, March 17), “Israel agreed to withdraw from the Egyptian oil fields in Sinai.”
There was nothing “Egyptian” about the oil fields. They didn’t exist until Israel captured the Sinai, discovered the oil and installed the infrastructure. And Sinai itself was Egyptian only insofar as it fell into Egypt’s hands when the Ottoman empire collapsed, without ever being annexed by Egypt or recognized as Egyptian by any written consensus of the world.
It was Israel that, by giving up the Sinai, made the land and its oil Egyptian.MARK L. LEVINSON
A return to the pre-1967 “borders” means a return to the armistice lines where the invading armies of Syria, Transjordan and Egypt where halted in 1949.
These lines were never legally recognized as borders. A return would mean the legitimization of Arab aggression, invasion and occupation. A return to the armistice lines means a return to the Green Line.
There can be no exchange of territories, since no Muslim can accept that “holy Arab land” is given to an infidel. There should be no illusions. There were when negotiations started with Egypt regarding the Sinai. We thought we could keep Yamit, the airfields, the oil fields and Ophira, or Sharm e-Sheikh. In the end, we could not even keep Taba.
More than 800,000 Israelis will lose their homes. How long will it take to build new ones, and who will finance them? UN Security Council Resolution 242 should be revived, and the Edmund Levy report on settlements implemented.CHARLES OREN
What’s it called?
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent speech before the US Congress has been a hot and controversial topic, to say the least.
After discussing the matter with American family members, as well as having read the myriad of letters in The Jerusalem Post written by Americans who were deeply offended by the speech – some to the point of revoking previous support of Israel (“US Jews speak out,” Letters, March 10) – I think I finally understand what the issue is.
These people simply wish that our prime minister had shown US President Barack Obama and other world leaders the same respect they had shown him. They demand that Netanyahu act in accordance with local custom and protocol while visiting, just as their leaders do while visiting Israel. And they do not want Israel interfering in American politics and issues, just as America and the rest of the world do not interfere with Israeli life.
Oh, wait. What is it called when one possesses zero tolerance and completely condemns behaviors that he himself frequently exhibits? Oh yes: a double standard.M. JACOBS
Numerous American Jews have been critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s appearance and speech to Congress, including readers who have written to The Jerusalem Post
These people have ranged from the man in the street through Jewish senators to a Nobel Prize winner. Some even claim Netanyahu does not speak for all Jews (although one wonders who they think does, because the silence from others is deafening).
One well recollects that when US President Barack Obama made his visit here in 2013 – yes, just two years ago – he breached established protocol in which visiting heads of state address the duly elected representatives of the people, meaning the Knesset. Instead, he chose to address hand-picked, politically orientated youth in a public meeting. He told them to change the system here, which apparently was not to his liking, because it was their future.
I don’t recollect any American Jews being critical at the time of this insult. Netanyahu’s critics should have no doubt that they are reacting like world Jewry did in the 1930s to the rise of National Socialism in Germany. They are reacting with blind eyes and deaf ears to the establishment of the Iranian nuclear bomb. We certainly know whom we cannot rely upon.COLIN L. LECI
Priority is given to letters that are brief and topical, and which bear the writer’s name and place of residence, as well as the name and date of the Post item being referred to. They may also be edited and shortened.