July 2, 2015: Appalling comment

With regard to “Senior US official: IAEA will get the access it needs” (June 30), I am appalled by the comment of “a senior Obama administration official.”

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Appalling comment
With regard to “Senior US official: IAEA will get the access it needs” (June 30), I am appalled by the comment of “a senior Obama administration official.”
The official, referring to Iran’s displeasure over the demand that all its military sites be open to nuclear inspectors, is quoted as saying: “The entry point isn’t, ‘We must be able to get into any military site,’ because the United States of America wouldn’t allow anybody to get into every [US] military site. So that’s not appropriate.”
I question whether the official would have held that position following Germany’s march through the Rhineland. Does he or she believe that law-abiding nations should be held to the same standards as criminal dictatorships? Or is it the other way around? Is there no basis for distinguishing America from Iran? Should it be necessary to explain that Iran is hell-bent on obtaining a nuclear weapon with the avowed intention of destroying Israel, and that the US is not far behind in Iran’s sights? It is precisely because there is a cataclysmic difference between my country and Iran. Neither Israel nor the US has built superior military facilities to fulfill any dreams of conquest or hegemony. Iran’s foreign and military policies are devoted strictly to those goals. Furthermore, I find it almost inexplicable why Israel’s safety is not a condition against which to hold Iran. The answer comes out of the Oval Office and the State Department. The sanctity of President Barack Obama’s pledge to protect Israel is by now a laughing matter.
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With Obama having reneged on his promise to send Hellfire missiles to Israel during the last Gaza war and now abandoning Israel to the Iranians, it seems clear that, first, America will do nothing to prevent a nuclear Iran, and, second, we will even support a Palestinian nation in the Security Council. Thus concludes the president’s intent to knock America off its pedestal and send our power, prestige and influence back to the time of Reconstruction.
Melville, New York
Special notations
Former Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki was one of the foreign infiltrators on board the Swedish vessel Marianne av Göteborg. The vessel illegally tried to break the UN-sanctioned security blockade around the Gaza Strip before being intercepted by the Israel Navy (“‘Flotilla’ stopped without incident,” June 30) and escorted to an Israeli port.
Israeli border authorities should take particular care to stamp the former Tunisian president’s passport with the following: “Welcome to Israel and thank you so much for your generous donation to the IDF.”
In fact, this should be stamped on every page of his passport, after which he should be put on a flight to Iran, Somalia, Libya or Yemen.
For all the Swedes and other non-Muslims on the vessel, before being deported (at their own expense), their passports should bear the notation: “Welcome to Israel and thank you so much for your generous donation to the IDF, and for your understanding of the existential threat we are facing from radical Islamist extremism.”
Gothenburg, Sweden
Boteach’s aim is off
Shmuley Boteach’s criticism of Abe Foxman for his supposed “unconditional support for President Obama,” and Boteach’s speculation about the future direction of the Anti-Defamation League, widely miss the mark (“Abe Foxman’s uncritical defenses of President Obama,” No Holds Barred, June 30).
Abe has always been a fierce defender of Israel, praising those, including the president, who by word or deed support Israel, and criticizing those, including the president, who do not. In fact, Abe has been a frequent critic of the president. As but a partial list:
• He criticized the president’s Cairo speech
• He and the ADL took out an ad in The New York Times early on, criticizing the president’s focus on settlements
• He criticized the way the president has negotiated with Iran and the significant gaps on inspections, sanctions and past violations of Iran’s obligations, among other things
• He criticized the president’s failure to put pressure on the Palestinians during the recent failed negotiations
• He has called for the administration to reconsider its position on Jerusalem.
As to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech before Congress, Abe strongly criticized the president’s reaction to the speech and his threat not to veto a Security Council resolution. There will be no change in ADL policy and action when Jonathan Greenblatt succeeds Abe as its national director. The ADL Succession Committee, of which I was a co-chair and which was made up of the senior leadership and the past national chairs of the ADL, was unanimous in the belief that Jonathan will be faithful to all aspects of its historic mission.
New York
The writer, a nationally recognized trial lawyer, is past national chairman of the ADL and past chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Seeing the difference
Larry Gellman’s “Daniel Gordis is partially right, but also very wrong” (Comment & Features, June 30) is flawed. When The Jerusalem Post gets to my door on Friday mornings, the first thing I look for is Gordis’s A Does of Nuance column in the magazine section. It was in his June 18 column (“It’s too easy to be an anti-Semite”) where he correctly mentioned, as Gellman notes, that anti-Semites should be made to “pay for their vicious and hateful crimes against the Jews instead of continuing to give them a free pass.”
Gellman also mentions that Jews who have vandalized 43 churches and mosques over the past three years have not been arrested. He should know that in Israel we have laws to arrest such criminals, so the fact that no one has been arrested means that any suspects were not the ones who did it. Yet what can we expect from a person who is a former local board member of AIPAC and a former chairman of Israel Bonds and Federation campaigns, but a current member of J Street, an organization that seeks to undermine Israeli government policies with the Obama administration? J Street actively lobbies Congress to further its aim of making certain parts of Israel off-limits to Jews. Its members do not understand that radical Islam would like to make Hamas the master of all of the Land of Israel, adding it to a worldwide catastrophe that has already befallen several Arab nations.
I’m indeed happy that the Post continues to publish Gordis’s columns. I’m also happy that we get an occasional opposing view – so we can see the difference between right and wrong.
Can marry widows
With regard to “Inspired by US ruling, opposition MKs propose bill on gay marriage” (June 29), your reporter says the proposed bills would help “those who cannot have their wedding officiated by the rabbinate or other religious authority – gay couples, couples of two different religions, a Cohen and a widow, etc....”
A Cohen is not forbidden from marrying a widow, and never was. Only the biblical High Priest, the Cohen Gadol, was forbidden from doing so, and the last Cohen Gadol was some 2,000 years ago. Cohanim can marry widows. Perhaps your reporter had in mind divorcées and first-generation converts, whom the Torah bars from marrying Cohanim.
The writer is a rabbi and Cohen, and is co-director of the Old City-based Center for Kohanim.