The Obama agonies In citing that he is the “African- American son of a single mother” and “president of the United States,” US President Barack Obama (“Obama: Bibi talked down to me, blocked twostate solution,” March 11) in no way relates to his understanding of the situation in the Middle East. Quite possibly, the opposite is true. It does explain, however, why he reacted the way he did to his perception of being spoken down to.With Obama’s background, his knowledge of the Middle East probably comes primarily from the State Department, which is notoriously anti-Israel and has badly evaluated the situation in the Middle East since George C.Marshall was secretary of state.His actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria (not to mention the deal made with Iran) have shown his and the state department’s utter incompetence at deciding what the US should be doing.The fact that Obama believed a two-state solution was achievable during his tenure, and his blaming of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the failure, is further proof of his inability to assess what is going on.The actions of the Arab leadership in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip since the Oslo Accords should show any objective observer their culpability for the continuation of the conflict.HAIM SHALOM SNYDER Petah Tikva Bibi talked down to Obama? About time! The US president has alienated virtually every friend America has ever had. He has reduced the US to an international backwater, aided by his equally inept secretary of state, John Kerry, who has not a single international achievement to his name.The US military is slipping into a post-Vietnam shambles to the delight of Russia and North Korea. Iran has a free pass to nuclear weapons in the certainty that the US and EU will do nothing.We should give credit to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has seen the light, showing Barack Obama up for what he is – the worst US president ever (although a Hillary Clinton in the White House could conceivably be his equal).I. KEMP Nahariya Sweet, but won’t workRegarding “Biden’s diplomacy” (Editorial, March 11), it was very sweet of US President Barack Obama to send Vice President Joe Biden to try and wind up the Arab conflict with Israel. The pity is that it will not work. There is no way of leaning on the Arab parties to end their conflict with Israel. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has already rebuffed the latest version of a scheme for a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem in return for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and an end to Israeli building in the city.Ever since the British split off territory from Mandate-era Palestine to make Transjordan, all attempts at further partition have been rejected by the Arab parties – not reasonably, but quite rationally to keep the conflict a running sore. Not knowing where to stop created the Nakba in 1948 and will create another as Israelis get fed up with the knife attacks and more Arab rejections of compromise.FRANK ADAM Prestwich, UK That’s cheap, Yariv Regarding the head of Peace Now (“The fourth strategy,” Column One, March 11), does Yariv Oppenheimer seriously expect a brave, innocent victim of a terrorist knifing like Yonatan Azarihab to somehow risk a further knifing by not trying – though wounded, possibly fatally – to neutralize his attacker? This defies every grain of human instinct.We can all pretend that we know better until we are faced with the real situation. Let us see what Oppenheimer would do if he were confronted with the same situation. To pontificate as he does is cheap.Maybe he does not know that in the legal systems of most, if not all, Western countries – and not just in Jewish law – self-defense is a total defense.PETER SIMPSON JerusalemCould Peace Now leader Yariv Oppenheimer any more plainly articulate the moral and intellectual incoherence at the heart of his group? Apparently, Yonatan Azarihab, the man stabbed last week in Petah Tikva, should have allowed himself to be killed rather than kill his assailant, so as to allow the assailant to commit further mayhem.It’s unfortunately evident that Oppenheimer is deadly serious, and not just indulging in some pre-Purim spoofery.As with all utopian movements, no reality checks, no matter how overwhelming, can ever be allowed to intrude on fantastic illusions – even when the blade is in the neck. Azarihab is a hero.Oppenheimer is a fool.RICHARD D. WILKINS Syracuse, New York But why Melman? At a time like this, when on a daily basis, Israeli citizens are being subjected to the most heinous behavior of savages, one must surely question the judgment of The Jerusalem Post to afford a well known dissident the opportunity to vent his spleen (“Israel has accepted the routine of terrorism,” Analysis, March 10).Has Yossi Melman become so blinded by left-wing ideology that he is unaware of the fact that it is Israel that has made innumerable concessions, only to be greeted by ongoing terrorism? Lionel Trilling, a classical and commendable liberal, most notably articulated the incongruence between contemporary liberalism and the Jewish sense of the world displayed by the likes of Melman.ALEX ROSE Ashkelon Can’t trust them The legislation cited in “Newly relaxed gun law to include safeguards against domestic violence” (March 10) has good intentions. However, are we supposed to believe that someone capable of murder will still be so decent as to hand in his gun at the end of a shift? A complaint of violence against an armed security guard should get him fired immediately. Better a dangerous guard lose his job – and gun – than an innocent woman risk losing her life.MOSHE-MORDECHAI VAN ZUIDEN Jerusalem Many, many eggsIn “The two-state solution and 2,000 barrels of herring” (Comment & Features, March 8), Jay Shapiro says that the idea of two states has been the “goose that lays the golden egg” for academics, diplomats, politicians, pundits and others who have ensured themselves job security through seminars, books, articles and other means of promoting the concept and then explaining where it went wrong.But he neglects to mention two other groups that have used it to enhance their reputations and line their pockets.One is the family and friends of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who have become millionaires by monopolizing business opportunities in real estate, construction and the import of cigarettes and computers in the areas under PA control. The other is the Europeans – an Arab presence in Judea and Samaria allows them to criticize Israel so as to assuage their guilt over their own historical persecution of the Jews. In addition, there is a large number of NGOs operating in the area, as well UNRWA, where thousands of jobs are on the line, plus volunteer experience for European students.The two-state concept has thus become a solution to many problems, none of which has any direct relation to the conflict between Israel and its neighbors.RUTH ROSENBERG Jerusalem CLARIFICATION Yaakov Kirschen, creator of the Dry Bones cartoons, will give a presentation titled “The Art of Cartooning” on March 19 at 8 p.m. at Netanya’s Beit Israel Community Center, and not as stated in “For Your Information” (Metro, March 11).