July 23: Irish friends

How could it now possibly discover any violations with Iran being given time to hide them?

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The way to win
I am glad to see that the IDF is adapting its ways in the wake of the P5+1 agreement with Iran (“IDF reveals new strategy reshaping military to deal with post-deal Iran,” July 21).
Supposedly, the best means of defense is to attack. Yet for too long, the IDF’s approach has been one of defense, and it seems that the changes being introduced by Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Gadi Eisenkot are largely of a defensive nature.
In the past, the greatest victories of the IDF were when it took dramatic offensive action, as in 1967 and 1973. The overall strategy of any army should be to defeat the enemy and win, not merely to defend ground and prevent civilian casualties.
Let the IDF’s strategy be to defeat the enemy, not merely defend against it.
Opposition’s antics
Many think that the current generation of Herzogs, Lapids and Livnis is primarily motivated by self-serving political aims rather than Israel’s existential concerns, and has an irrational attitude toward the US, whose leader is arguably endangering mankind with a demonstrably bad deal (“Bennett bashes Lapid over Iran comments, lack of responsibility,” July 21).
These spoiled wannabes should heed Vice Premier and Interior Minister Silvan Shalom’s truth, as expressed in the adjacent article (“Increased military aid for Israel is a contradiction”) – that “Israel is the best ally that the United States has and ever will have.”
I find opposition leader Isaac Herzog’s constant sniping and picking on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu annoying, boring and counter-productive.
His message has remained almost the same since he became leader of his party.
Apparently, he has not been able to come to terms with the fact that just a few months ago, the people of Israel made their choice – and it wasn’t him.
Herzog’s line, that US President Barack Obama’s hatred of Netanyahu brought about the disastrous Iran nuclear agreement, is patently false and naive. Obama does not see Iran as a threat to the West, but as a nation that could bring stability to the Middle East.
I do think Herzog has potential, but he must make a change.
He should join Netanyahu in this fight against the agreement as a loyal opposition, and can then oppose him on many of the social issues of which he is rightfully critical.
This mature change would enable Herzog to develop from a cheap and whining politician to an outstanding statesman, a tribute to his late father and grandfather.
Kiryat Ono
Irish friends
On the nuclear deal of the July 14, 2015, we, as Irish Christians, wish to express our solidarity with the Jewish people.
A lack of understanding of Islamic culture and negotiation principles has led to many US mistakes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc. We believe this deal is another mistake.
Iran is a leading promoter of international terrorism and a serial abuser of human rights, especially those of Iranian Christians, many now imprisoned. The elimination of Israel has long been declared Iranian policy. Last March a senior Revolutionary Guard commander reaffirmed state policy that “erasing Israel off the map” is “non-negotiable.”
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, affirmed recent chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” at demonstrations.
This was after the “deal” was signed.
Many leaders apart from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu take these threats seriously. In December 2014, Adama Dieng, special adviser to the UN secretary- general on the prevention of genocide, emphatically stated that Iran’s genocidal threats to “wipe Israel off the earth” are “totally unacceptable. Israel is a state and has the right to exist as a state, and its security has also to be protected.”
British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond, acknowledged Netanyahu’s concerns over Iran’s calls for Israel’s destruction. “We are not naive about this,” he said. But this deal has ignored these genocidal threats, in themselves a war crime.
The deal will also release $100- 150 billion worth of Iranian assets frozen overseas by the US Treasury.
No wonder Israeli leaders in both the coalition and opposition are furiously opposed to a deal seemingly geared more toward ensuring a foreign policy victory for US President Barack Obama than preventing Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.
The US-led negotiating team gave in to Iran on a number of designated “red line” issues. President Obama initially pledged that unfettered inspection of Iran’s nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Authority was an absolute requirement. But Iran refused to allow snap inspections and forced a comprise, allowing 24 days’ notice. The IAEA has been stonewalled since 2006.
How could it now possibly discover any violations with Iran being given time to hide them? Not only is Israel deeply upset, but many of its Arab neighbors are as well. We are praying that the US Congress will reject the deal.
Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
The writer is secretary of the Irish Christian Friends of Israel.
Butt out, world With regard to “Our steadfastness is a triumph of defiance against Israel” (July 21), human rights groups say that if Israel goes through with the demolition of the illegally-built Palestinian village of Sussiya, it would force the more than 300 residents to leave.
In “‘Don’t open up an international front over Sussiya demolitions’” (July 20), you report that US State Department spokesman John Kirby said: “Such actions have an impact beyond those individuals and families who are evicted,” and that the demolition “of this Palestinian village or of parts of it and evictions of Palestinians from their homes would be harmful and provocative.”
Where was the condemnation when, 10 years ago, some 10,000 Jews were forcibly evicted from homes and thriving businesses they had built with their own hands in Gush Katif, without billions of dollars of handouts, as is routinely given to the Arabs? Obviously, such evictions are “harmful and provocative” only when applied to Arabs.
To quote an uncouth but, in this situation, apt expression: World, butt out of our affairs.
Gush Katif
On the 10th anniversary of the Gaza disengagement, the public discourse has been a general castigation of the Israeli government for its initiation and execution of the withdrawal. Although economic, security and political considerations justified the idea, the government made two grievous errors in its execution.
1. A total and comprehensive relocation program should have been implemented.
2. A policy of zero-tolerance of violations (e.g., rocket fire) should have been adopted.
To date, no serious soul-searching has been done. For one, the situation represented a failure of the settlement movement. If, over a period of 20 years, 2,000 families had settled in Gush Katif annually, the Jewish population of the area would have exceeded a quarter of a million. Hence, no disengagement.
An additional error was in allowing the protests to be led primarily by the teenage population, thereby traumatizing youths in their formative years and for a long time to come.
Perhaps worst of all was the rabbinical leadership. In their deus ex machina approach, the rabbis somehow found halachic justification for the protest and refusal to budge, and failed to obtain optimum resettlement conditions from the government.
The disengagement was difficult and traumatic, but both sides must reanalyze their actions and mistakes in order not to repeat them.