January 6, 2020: Sayonara, Soleimani

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Sayonara, Soleimani
Has the world gone crazy? One of the most evil and dangerous terrorists in the world was killed in a precision attack by a US drone in Iraq (“US, Israel brace for response after Soleimani killing,” January 5). Sensible people should have cheered US President Donald Trump for changing the image of weakness that the US suffered from during the Obama administration.
Yes, there may very well be retaliation from Iran. And then more retaliation from the US. This is not a friendly game of hopscotch. Iran is exporting terrorism to the whole world and must be stopped by the civilized world. The alternative is that the US will continue to be viewed as a weak country without resolve, whose threats will not be taken seriously.
I have done business with the Arab world for decades. Time and time again I was told that the Arab world simply does not take US – or even Israeli – threats seriously. They think that havlaga (restraint) is the most incomprehensible policy in the world. Yet, within the US “intellegentsia” (e.g. The New York Times and similar knee-jerk softies), Trump was criticized as “impulsive.” Shame on these people who do not support justice and the fight against terrorism; hail to the president on his courage.
In “Between Mossad’s subtlety and Trump’s bang” (January 5), Yonah Jeremy Bob uses the elimination of Osama bin Laden as an example of a precedent for eliminating Soleimani. But as the Washington Post points out, “the comparison is misleading. Soleimani was not the leader of a stateless terrorist organization. He was one of the most powerful figures in the Iranian government. His death makes him the highest-ranking foreign military commander assassinated by the United States since the shoot-down in 1943 of an airplane carrying Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, the architect of the Pearl Harbor attack.”
In 1943, the issue was not the split between the Republicans and Democrats on whether it was the right thing to do, but which of the P-38G pilots actually shot down Yamamoto’s plane.
War is war and you can get killed. – particularly if you are an Iranian general, the commander of the Quds Force, whose job it is to generate civil war in other countries. And especially after your Ayatollah has threatened everyone and even had 1,500 of his own people killed during unrest in Iran.
The writing was on the wall for General Soleimani, but maybe, like many of his Iranian colleagues, he didn’t believe his own intelligence open sources. Or perhaps he relied on a puny American presidency to help him.
On January 1, 2018 almost two years to the day prior to his assassination, Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida told him that he was going to get assassinated. This would have happened in 2015 when he was fermenting mayhem near Damascus, but the Obama regime working on the nuclear deal, thwarted the intended Israeli hit by telling Tehran.
After Donald Trump took office, an American-Israeli agreement was undertaken that Soleimani is a “threat to the two countries’ interests in the region.” Even in his death, it is still so. The collateral damage of his assignation is a heightened security alert; the Mt Hermon ski resort on the Golan border with Syria has been closed as a precaution.
The citizens of Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Iraq – and definitely those in Iran – are tired of being inflicted with the Iranian Ayatollah’s verbal and physical rants. Time to escalate to Tehran regime change!
University of Haifa
Arch-terrorist Arafat
“Before Baghdad: 13 times US diplomats were violently attacked” (January 1) provides valuable context to the latest embassy siege in Iraq, underscoring the danger and sacrifice too often facing US Foreign Service officers. While I don’t quibble with the inclusion of any listed attack, one omission in particular from your list stands out: the 1973 murder of hostage US diplomats by Palestinian terrorists in Sudan, in which PLO chairman Yasser Arafat was implicated.
On March 1, 1973, the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum held a formal reception in honor of George Curtis Moore, the outgoing chargé d’affaires at the American embassy. Palestinian “Black September” gunmen burst into the embassy, firing their weapons, and took 10 hostages, including Moore and American Ambassador to Sudan Cleo Allen Noel, demanding the release of a long list of terrorists held by Israel, Baader-Manhoff members, and Sirhan Sirhan, assassin of Robert F. Kennedy. Some 12 hours later, after President Nixon declared that the US would not pay blackmail, the gunmen announced that they had murdered Moore, American Ambassador Noel, and a Belgian diplomat. All non-Western hostages were released.
A US State Department investigation concluded: “The Khartoum operation was planned and carried out with the full knowledge and personal approval of Yasser Arafat.” Arafat, like so many other perpetrators of these attacks, was never held accountable.
LBJ beats out Bernie
In “A Sanders presidency would be an ‘unprecedented nightmare’ for Jews” (January 2). Jonathan S. Tobin states a Bernie Sanders win would be no win for Jews or Israel. The article continues with the statement that Sanders would be the first American Jewish president.
That may not be true.
An interesting item from history is the suggestion that Lyndon Baines Johnson’s mother (née Rebekak Baines) was a Jew, thereby rendering LBJ halachicly Jewish. Records indicate the possibility of her Jewish ancestry for several generations.
After the assassination of president John Kennedy, and the ascendancy of then-vice president Johnson to the presidency, he said to an Israeli diplomat, “You have lost a very great friend. But you have found a better one.” Levi Eshkol paid the first state visit of an Israeli prime minister to Johnson’s Texas ranch, where the two farmers found much in common.
There is also evidence that Johnson paid a significant part in the July 1938 removal of hundreds of Polish and German Jews from Europe to the US ahead of the Holocaust. Being of questionable legality, any paper trail was expunged, so historians are unable to prove this one way or the other.
Johnson put a stop to the Kennedy initiative to investigate the Dimona facility then under construction, and also increased arms sales to Israel with the Phantom fighter jets.
In June of 2017, former Middle East envoy Dennis Ross claimed Johnson to be the most emotionally committed of any president to Israel. Certainly more friendly than Sanders and his hateful and antisemitic gang of “squad” members could ever be.
Turkish trickery
Regarding “PA says it received Ottoman documents to ‘confirm Palestinian ownership of lands’” (January 5), even assuming these documents are authentic, the Torah and Bible predate these documents with proof that the land of Israel was either purchased, ceded or settled by the Hebraic descendants of Abraham.
Beit Shemesh
British treachery
Eugene Kontorovich’s article “Trump is keeping the promise made at San Remo in 1920. Why?” (January 4) was excellent. However it contained one mistake: neither Jordan nor Trans-Jordan were included in the San Remo agreement.
I have been researching Israel’s rights under international law for four years. The facts pose another question: but for Britain’s treachery in breaking the terms of the mandate agreement it had signed with the League of Nations, could the Holocaust have been avoided? I believe it could, because in the years 1922 to 1935, the then-Jewish state of Palestine would have been sufficiently developed to absorb all those Jews wishing to escape Hitler.
As it was, the British had barred Jewish immigration to their biblical homeland and neither Britain, Europe or the USA would accept them as refugees.
Astor Close, Great Britain
A flood of questions
“2 drown after TA elevator flooded by heavy rain” (January 5) raises an important question: Are measures being taken to protect the Tel Aviv metro, which is under construction, from extreme weather conditions such as flash flooding?
Free Naama Issachar
Regarding “Naama Issachar moved back to Moscow prison” (January 1), the irredeemably warped might of a bestial Russian political and judicial system has been thrown at Naama Issachar. Russia’s reasons for detaing her may be inferred. I choose not to believe the Russian version of events, trapped as that country is in spiteful Soviet-style splenetic spin.
Appended to the activism of Na’ama’s mother and family to secure Na’ama’s release and appended to whatever steps the Israeli government may take, a relentless and concerted international campaign must be charted to unmask the thugs of Russia illustrated by this cowardly kidnap.
Let us return to the collective and successful spirit of activism then thrown at the Soviet Empire under the banner of “Free Soviet Jewry.” Now it must read: “Free Naama Issachar – Now!”
Dealing with Hamas
Regarding “Israel nears deal with Hamas” (January 2), if the agreement happens as stated in the article, in my opinion, our local history will be called Munich II – and we all know what happened historically to the first one.
Israel will agree to give Hamas buses, tires, natural gas pipelines, all of which all have dual purposes. The tires and buses will not be used for their future Friday marches, but kept in reserve for the next war as smoke screens to be deployed against our troops and especially against UAVs, helicopters. And for Aliyah and Integration Minister Yoav Gallant to say, “I don’t suggest we enter it [Gaza],” and that “Hamas must be defeated, ‘but there is the question of the price,’” of course war is hell and soldiers will die, but as General Patton said to his soldiers, “Yours is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his.”
Gallant, our chief of staff, other generals and our politicians need to study history. By holding back and giving in to Hamas, we give them time to bring in more weapons via the Sinai, manufacture better missiles and eventually evolve into another Hezbollah. We shed blood time and time again fighting Hamas, only to agree to a ceasefire then repeating our mini-war.
If we make the wrong choices, the negative aspects of this deal will most unfortunately come to pass.
Kiryat Motzkin
Barghouti is no Mandela
In “A Palestinian Mandela and an Israeli de Klerk” (January 2), Gershon Baskin finds convicted murderer Marwan Barghouti to be “principled” with a “sense of integrity” and a desire to “make peace.” He even calls him a Palestinian Mandela.
This is so farfetched that it is beyond imagination. While Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and professed the legitimacy of Zionism as Jewish nationalism, Barghouti’s “peace” is a one-state nightmare that would be suicide for the State of Israel. Found guilty of five murders in three terror attacks, he headed the Fatah, Tanzim and Al-Aqua Brigade and led dozens of terrorist operations against Israeli targets.
It is an insult to Mandela’s legacy (and our intelligence) to compare him to someone who was responsible for the death and injury of hundreds of Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers. Mandela’s activism prevented civil war in South Africa, whereas Barghouti’s “peace” is his call for a “Third Intifada.”
I hope Baskin, for his own safety, never lives to see the day when Barghouti heads the PA and subjects all Israelis to his vision of “peace.”
Tap geo-thermal power
“On energy, Bibi did right,” (January 3) is correct, except in one respect: like most policy makers, he ignores the fact that Israel lies adjacent to the East African Rift, which is tearing Africa apart. This results negatively on Israel by making it earthquake prone (a fact ignored by those who issue building permits) and positively by giving it the possibility of developing geothermal power.
Netanyahu is probably unaware that Report GSI/29/2008, commissioned by the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Geological Survey of Israel, and dated Nov. 2008, notes, “The permeability and porosity of [the] Arad Group [at southern end of the Golan Heights] are high and therefore this location might be a potential geothermal site. We recommend further activity to confirm the new geothermal maps presented in the report including new field measurements in new and abandoned boreholes.”
This is a clear indication that there is a possibility of Israel developing a source of geothermal energy.
Governmental mismanagement of Israel’s health services has resulted in a drastic increase in the waiting time for medical appointments. To prevent a similar deterioration in Israel’s energy-supply situation, we must not be misled by Israel’s gas fields coming online. In 2017, peak electricity demand in Israel was 12,741 megawatts; it is projected to be 19,600 MW in 2030. We therefore need an electricity-generating constructing program, and a second program to ensure there will be sufficient energy sources to support future electricity generation. Gas fields eventually run out. Geothermal energy is inexhaustible.
If Israel became “electricity rich,” this would permit a price reduction to consumers (the electricity bill is a burden on some needy families, despite allowances) and permit surplus electricity to be diplomatically leveraged with neighboring countries.
Our gas fields are the result of private enterprise. Investigating the possibilities of geothermal power could similarly be offered as an opportunity for private enterprise, and need not be a drain on the taxpayer.
Beit Zayit
Rigged results
Regarding “Energy independence” (January 5), as someone with a career in the gas industry abroad I would want you to be sure to inform readers that separation rigs are generally placed as far from population centers as possible. In the case of Leviathan, the well heads are about 100 km. out to sea, but the separation rig has been placed only nine km. from Hof Dor.
Generally, the separation process takes place as close to the well head as possible. The emissions from the rig thus effect our populations and include carcinogenic Benzene. Security has been brought up as an issue, but the defense establishment said they are equipped to defend the rigs a 100 km. off shore.
Should there be an accident or security incident only nine kilometers off the shore, not only will the populations in the area be at risk and the beach poisoned, but also the Hadera desalination plant could be out of action for a long time while contamination evaporates.