Readers (and a poet) weigh in Iran agreement

Your lead article “Jerusalem to continue campaign against Iran deal” (April 5) should be a flashing red light to all.

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April 5, 2015 21:45
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Your lead article “Jerusalem to continue campaign against Iran deal” (April 5) should be a flashing red light to all.

I have my own thoughts about the preliminary memorandum of understanding, but I prefer to exploit the eloquence of none other than Winston Churchill, to whom the world and the Jews owe so much. His words of nearly 100 years ago still ring true: “The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences.”

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He would have consoled us concerning US President Barack Obama with his words: “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”

SHMUEL BECKER Jerusalem

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I am an average American, and while this will be a meaningless gesture, I nonetheless wish to apologize for the petulant behavior of the president of the United States as it relates to his responses toward your country and your government.

I can safely say that the vast majority of the US supports Israel, and that President Barack Obama is in the absolute minority when it comes to trusting Iran.

JACK SCRIBER Odenton, Maryland

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demanded that any final deal with Iran include a statement by Tehran recognizing Israel’s right to exist.

Isn’t it a bit ironic that the prime minister should insist on this, given that he doesn’t seem to believe Iran will keep its word on any deal, particularly one signed by US President Barack Obama?

ERMES CULOS Ashcroft, British Columbia

“Wiping Israel off the map is not up for negotiation,” a senior commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps was recently quoted as saying (“PM: Powers talk with Iran even as it threatens Israel,” April 2).

The agreement being forged with Tehran is acceptable because any agreement that avoids war is good. But where do people get the idea that not having an agreement creates circumstances for war? Isn’t America committed to preventing Israel’s destruction? So where does the agreement state that Iran will not destroy Israel? Or is “We have your back” just propaganda?

MARILYN GINSBURG Lake Worth, Florida

Iran’s leaders call for Israel to be annihilated from the face of the earth, and yet the world calls Israel a warmonger. We are also told Israel spied on the negotiations with Iran and reported its findings to congressional Republicans.

Why would Israel have spied and given the information to members of Congress when President Barack Obama or Secretary of State John Kerry should have updated Congress in the first place? Obama must think he is emperor of the US and not its president. It is not only because of the Iran negotiations that I say this; it is because of everything he does.

DON SALIMAN Nahal Oz

Since Michigan reader Gerald J. Niedermaier writes that his support for Israel is waning because of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s positive response to speak to Congress at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner (“Waning support,” Letters, April 3), some questions.

What was the original basis of that support for Israel? Was it appreciation of Israel’s qualities and contributions to a better life for everyone, for providing the US with more than the equivalent of an aircraft carrier in the eastern Mediterranean, and for being a tolerant country with the kind of freedoms Americans enjoy? If not, what was it? Why does Mr. Niedermaier believe that President Barack Obama understands Israel’s security requirements better than Netanyahu? In the face of an Iranian general openly saying that the country’s intention to destroy Israel is non-negotiable, and knowing that Iran’s government funds terror and the ayatollahs feel it’s permissible to break agreements with non-Muslims, how can he maintain that Netanyahu’s fears are not justified? Why does Mr. Niedermaier believe that Netanyahu’s public airing of his disagreement with Obama constitutes an insult? When British or French statesmen disagreed with US presidents in the past, even on American soil, did he consider it an insult? If an Egyptian Copt had flown to Washington and publicly lambasted Obama for supporting ousted Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi and the Islamic Brotherhood, would that have been an insult, or simply a fact? If Israel had a prime minster who went to Washington to lambaste president Bill Clinton for approving the State Department directive allowing Saudi nationals to obtain a visa without a consular or security review, would that have been an insult? Perhaps he is aware that 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 entered the US on that basis.

And did Obama demonstrate a deep understanding of the Holy Land’s history when he said in Cairo after first being elected that Israel’s creation had been solely in response to the Holocaust?

DAVID LLOYD KLEPPER Jerusalem

I love those letters from Americans who have been “staunch supporters of Israel,” although now, in the light of our rude preference for staying alive over respecting President Barack Obama’s imperial right never to be contradicted, they are sadly obliged to join their voices to the general chorus of the great and good of the world who are baying for our blood.

It must be bewildering. After witnessing Obama work his magic in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen, where do we get the nerve to disagree with his policy on Iran?

NAOMI SANDLER Jerusalem

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif / a far better actor than Omar Sharif / has taken to Twitter to voice his belief / there isn’t a phased plan for sanctions relief.

He tweeted that none of the plants will shut down / Fordow will stay open and remain underground / enrichment proceeds unrestrained and unbound / and whatever’s enriched can be sold out of town.

This fact-sheet the P5+1 has presented / is nothing but spin, Zarif then lamented / None of the bargains, it seems are cemented / yet all those involved are being commended.

But Iran has made only one promise to date / that their hatred toward Israel will never abate / and given the chance, they will seek to create / a weapon to wipe out the Jews and their state.

No one is calling for war on the ground / only a bargain whose tenets are sound / provisions and benchmarks they cannot confound / in the unlikely event violations abound.

In the framework we’ve seen, our upside is slight / the wars they began, they’ll continue to fight / they’re keeping their prisoners, not even contrite / it’s a bevy of carrots with no sticks in sight.

Once sanctions are lifted Iran will make millions / then funnel those funds to their war-making minions / and despite all the back pats and rosy opinions / the cost of this deal will be paid by civilians.

And when there’s an arms race, what happens then? / The Saudis will nuke up, so let’s not pretend / The Jews under threat and forsaken by friends / from “never forget” to “oh, no, not again.”

When Iran breaks their word and the truth is revealed / when it turns out that all that we’ve read wasn’t real / all the words written in defense of this deal / should be chewed up and eaten with crow as a meal.

GARY TAUSTINE New York


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