January 3, 2018: Unrest in Iran

Iran, MK Ya’acov Litzman, and the rabbi from Dimona.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
The spreading unrest in Iran
The widespread protests in Iran might be a harbinger for better days in Israel and the world (“Trump leans into Iran protests, breaking from Obama’s overtures,” January 1).
Notwithstanding the infusion of billions of dollars into the Iranian economy following the nuclear agreement, the anticipated amelioration of living conditions never materialized for Iranian citizens.
Instead, the rogue regime chose to squander those precious resources to further its aims of global terrorism, foreign adventurism and global instability.
It seems clear that the masses are more interested in jobs than Iranian hegemony.
What portends a better outcome in 2018 than for the demonstrations in 2009 is that US President Donald Trump is boldly supporting the protesters.
With US encouragement and assistance, the disgruntled masses will hopefully bring about a collapse of the regime.
Reestablishing a pro-West Iran would deliver a blow to global terrorism and enhance Middle Eastern stability.
There have been several attempts in the past 40 years by the Iranian population to regain their country.
All attempts have failed.
I believe the failed attempts have had to do with the leftist ideology prevailing in Europe for generations after World War II. And no US administration has wanted to interfere .
Former president Barack Obama’s administration stood by and watched as the young and the old in Iran once again tried for freedom in 2009. As a matter of fact, Obama authorized the secret transfer of $1.4 billion earmarked for the Islamic Republic during his last year in office – after the damage done by his shoring up of Iran’s nuclear capabilities and the threat to world civilization that this nuclear capability will bring.
The only answer is regime change. How many Iranians yearning for the golden years of their government under the shah will now have to die? These young people on the streets are the children of the Iranian students I had at the University of Akron in Ohio in the late-1970s.
Given US President Donald Trump’s bold and courageous decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and US Ambassador Nikki Haley’s recent comments at the UN that the days of Israel-bashing are over, I believe that the Iranian people, who yearn for freedom and the demise of their stultifying, despotic regime, will finally get support from a US president for their righteous and justified fight.
Correspondent Michael Wilner brings us essential news (“US, Israel reach agreement on countering Iranian threat,” December 29).
He reports that three US-Israel committees have been set up at the national security level to deal with Iran. From what is missing in the description, it would appear that there is no in-depth awareness by the parties of the importance of psychological warfare against Iran both as an oppressive unitary state and one led by an evil regime. This should be additional to any focus on its nuclear threat to the world.
A clear psychological blow can be struck against the terror of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps now murdering innocents at home as well as abroad. The binational committees should consider a well-justified military assault against Iran-supported Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Indeed, as Mr. Wilner reported in “3 dead as Iranian protests spread, calling for end to Islamic regime” (December 31), demonstrators are crying for “an end to [their] government’s costly expansionist projects across the Middle East....”
It behooves us to make that cost even higher. This would require an understanding in Jerusalem that the essential psychological target need be virulent Tehran itself, not just Hamas. Let the secondary issue of Palestinian-Arab unity rise or fall where it may.
The writer is a retired US foreign service officer who served for many years in Arab and Muslim countries.
Food for thought
In her letter “La La Land” (January 1), reader Miriam (Mickey) Blumberg writes that “we learned in your pages that many children in Israel go to school without a sandwich and probably go to bed hungry.” She was writing in response to your December 28 news article “Netanyahu starts aid fund for 50 countries to boost for Israel at UN.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apparently learned something from the leaders of the former Soviet Union before its collapse. That superpower, from the very beginning, supported many countries (Cuba being the best example) while its own citizens lived in poverty and died of hunger. Little wonder, for he is very friendly with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
As long as opinions such as Ms. Blumberg’s are expressed only by readers, we can’t hope for real change in Israel. Some wishful thinking: The other article she refers to – “One in three children lives in poverty” (December 27) – should be read by every Jew thinking about making aliya.
Not quite fans of Litzman
With regard to “Is Litzman scared of Lapid?” (December 27), MK Ya’acov Litzman, chairman of United Torah Judaism – a party that does not support secular education or service in the IDF – wants to require that our prime ministers have an academic degree and are military veterans. I wonder if he would accept an amendment to his draft bill that would extend the requirements of an academic degree and IDF service to all members of Knesset.
Is there no shame in politics?
Ya’acov Litzman is the most hypocritical of politicians! He wants his followers to sit in a yeshiva all day long while others go to work and serve in the IDF.
What is he afraid of? Diversity? Different opinions? How boring it would be if we all thought alike!
If ever the word “chutzpah” had a definition, it’s the bill to require an academic degree and IDF service of our future prime ministers. It is difficult to become more cynical for the head of a party that supports the exemption of Haredi boys from sharing the burden.
This despicable and provocative behavior shows once again the outcome of an outdated electoral system that requires urgent change to include regional MKs who are responsible to the voters, not themselves.
Regarding “Knesset approves weakened bill that restricts tobacco advertising on Internet” (December 25), Israel must be unique – it has Ya’acov Litzman, a deputy minister for the protection of the food and tobacco industries who disguises himself as our deputy health minister.
I have the impression that the nation’s health is not always Litzman’s priority since he readily concedes to commercial demands.
Resents an editorial
Regarding your December 22 editorial “Rabbinical racket,” I am sorry to disappoint you, but as chief rabbi of Dimona for almost 36 years, I do not take money for weddings (though it is allowed for out-of town weddings). I do not hold any additional jobs. I serve my town from early morning to late at night, 24/7.
If you were to bother interviewing people in Dimona, you would find out whether I am out of touch with the citizens. Excluding family celebrations, I don’t leave town or go on vacation. I know many chief rabbis who have a similar schedule.
I resent your editorial and even more so the fact that I had to write about myself to make the point.