Letters to the Editor: And that’s why

US President Barack Obama said that Israel is the only country in the world opposed to the agreement with Iran.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
And that’s why
US President Barack Obama said that Israel is the only country in the world opposed to the agreement with Iran (“Obama: We have a choice between diplomacy and war,” August 6).
What he forgot to mention is that Israel is the only nation in the world that Iran threatens to annihilate.
Israel is the only country in the world being threatened with annihilation by Iran. Change “Israel” to “America” and see what our friend Obama has to say!
M. POPPER Herzliya
With anti-Semitic incidents around the world at the highest levels since the Holocaust, this man, the president of the United States, the man with the highest position of influence in the world, announces in a televised speech that Israel is the only nation in the world that opposes his nuclear deal with Iran.
Wrap your mind around that for a moment – especially American Jews who have supported Barack Obama and helped elect him twice. Obama might as well have said that if anything bad happens, it’s going to be the fault of the Jews.
This man just put a bullseye on the back of every Jew in the world. Shocking! Shocking!
Value of words
Even those who believe that Israel should not have taken such a conflicting stand against the US policy on Iran cannot refrain from criticizing the recent statement of Secretary of State John Kerry, that although Iran has a “fundamental ideological confrontation” with Israel, it has not yet taken active steps toward the annihilation of Israel.
This extraordinary statement, part of an interview with US journalist Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic, amounts to the legitimization of repeated declarations by the leaders of Iran that Israel has no right to exist and should be annihilated – hopefully by Iran. Mr. Kerry’s statement implies that ideological differences are legitimate grounds for denying the right of a nation to exist.
Neither international law nor history supports this implication.
Neither side in the Cold War – deeply divided on ideological grounds – denied the other’s right to exist. Nor did the allies in the first and second world wars ever deny the right of Germany to exist. My point is that the very declarations of Iran are illegitimate acts and should be deplored rather than condoned.
Mr. Kerry ignored not only principles of international law, but practical conventions of diplomacy. It is not really important that Iran has not taken actual steps to destroy Israel. Surely, when intentions of destruction are voiced, it is customary to issue warnings to that state that its intentions would not be tolerated.
It is, of course, true that the leaders of the US keep assuring Israel of their commitment to its existence and security, and they may well mean it. But this should have been made clear directly to the Iranians.
All of these aspects – the reticence on that point, the notion expressed by Mr. Kerry that Iran’s objection to the existence of Israel is merely ideological and therefore acceptable, and the implied comment that as long as no practical steps to destroy Israel are taken, the declarations of intent can be tolerated – are in themselves intolerable and should be openly condemned as dangerous to world peace.
HEDVA BEN ISRAEL Jerusalem - The writer is a professor emeritus in the History Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The demanded it
Whether or not Secretary of State John Kerry mentioned “anywhere, anytime” inspections during the negotiations is not as important whether he demanded this. I am sure he would say that he and the other negotiators didn’t demand this because it would have been a game breaker – Iran would not agree to it.
Why then did Iran agree to inspections with 24 days’ notice? Because it suits its purpose.
It is not afraid of such inspections.
This is the worrisome theme of the negotiations. Kerry and the others demanded only what Iran would give, and not what it would not give.
When asked several times in interviews why America did not demand the return of US prisoners that Iran is holding, the answer was always: “We were negotiating the nuclear aspect and nothing else.” But then why was Iran given the okay to buy weapons and even ICBM missiles in five or eight years? That is not a nuclear subject.
The answer clearly is: Because Iran demanded it.
This clearly shows how Kerry and friends negotiated from weakness and got the kind of agreement they got.
No connection
Sarah Blum’s “The revolt of the nation” (Comment & Features, August 6) is at the same time eye-catching and misleading.
At first glance, I thought it would pay tribute to Menachem Begin’s legacy and contributions to the State of Israel. I consider Begin a true Israeli hero and began reading, expecting to find a right-leaning response to the unfortunate events of the past week and a half. Instead, I read baseless opinions that the author tried to pass off as facts, and efforts to make absurd connections.
For instance, Ms. Blum begins by quoting Begin’s book The Revolt, and describes his willingness to not fight back against the Hagana in order to prevent a civil war between the Jews. She then tries to make a loose connection between a lack of proper education in the Israeli school system and the killings and stabbings that recently took place. How does all this connect to Begin? The author has seemingly forgotten or intentionally ignores the tragedy of the Altalena.
Begin instructed his men to not fight back because he did not want there to be a civil war.
Does the author mean to say that she agrees with Jews killing other Jews, and that the Begin was correct in not allowing his men to fight back? Does she condemn David Ben-Gurion at all, or is it okay for Jews to murder – yes, murder – other Jews if the victims are from the Right and the perpetrators from the Left? The author declares that all the recent acts were committed by fanatic Jews “in the name of Judaism.” What exactly does that mean? I know it is common for Islamic terrorists to shout Allahu akbar as they carry out their heinous attacks. However, I have never heard of any Jews committing acts of terror “in the name of Judaism.” I would expect the author to provide examples.
Fat chance
Two terrible acts were committed a little over a week ago and your paper has been filled with streams of hatred.
The great majority of opinion pieces have linked the events to things that happened two decades ago or more – the Rabin assassination, Baruch Goldstein’s massacre in Hebron and the Jewish underground of the 1980s. Not one of these instances has any connection.
In addition, the two acts themselves are entirely unconnected.
Yishai Schlissel, the so-called Orthodox Jew, is a lone wolf who was a known danger. That he was able to be at the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem is 100 percent the fault of the police.
And nobody yet knows who is responsible for the firebombing at Duma. Though the authorities suspect Jews, they have no suspects.
What will happen if it is determined that Arabs did it? Will your columnists and writers apologize? Fat chance!