Letters to the Editor February 24, 2021: Nuke deal dealings

Readers of The Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Letters
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
 Nuke deal dealings
That “Ex-IDF, Mossad officials support US return nuke deal” (February 23) is the latest example that most of the world’s security advisers and intelligence agencies believe that the deal was the best approach to preventing Iran from going nuclear. There are many important reasons for this.
The nuclear deal, signed in 2015 not just by the Obama administration, but also by the United Kingdom, Russia, France, China, Germany and the European Union, was successful in halting Iran’s path toward creating a nuclear weapon.
Because of the agreement, Iran got rid of 98% of its enriched nuclear material, disabled two-thirds of its centrifuges, and disabled a nuclear reactor by filling it with concrete. This greatly increased the time Iran would need to create a nuclear bomb.
There were extensive, unprecedented, inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and this group of professional inspectors certified Iranian compliance with the deal many times. Since president Donald Trump pulled out of the agreement in 2018, Iran is much closer to being able to build a nuclear bomb. 
Of course recent Iranian statements and actions should be condemned, and all non-nuclear deal sanctions on Iran should be continued. But returning to the agreement would move Iran again far from its ability to build a nuclear weapon, and would increase chances for negotiations that would reduce other Iranian negatives 
It is essential that diplomacy be tried because a military conflict would have devastating consequences for Israel, the US and the entire world.

RICHARD H. SCHWARTZ, PH.D.
Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island
One has to agree with General Matan Vilnai, right? However, I do have one small question for him.
Gen. Vilnai, you say that Iran should “again” transparently follow the rules. Please tell me, when was the first time that Iran followed the rules? Was it when they denied independent verification? Was it when they moved their production system from one site to another undisclosed site? Or was it when they over-enriched the uranium that they produced?
Do you now think that Iran will turn over the uranium that it has enriched to 20%? To whom? Perhaps Hezbollah would be a reasonable recipient.
The Iran nuclear deal was bad when it was drafted and it is even worse now.
SAM ROSENBLUM
Beit Shemesh
Cracking anti-Israel COVID quips
 Regarding “SNL’s Michael Che is not an antisemite” (February 23), I do not watch Saturday Night Live so I cannot speak to the motivations of the comedian, Michael Che, but I do know that characterizing Israel as “vaccinating only the Jewish half of the population” plays right into the hands of the Israel-bashers in the United States and around the world. 
I remember a former colleague in NY some time ago asking me why Israel does not give medical care to the Arabs in the country. It took some doing to convince her that on any given day there are as many Arab as Jewish patients in Hadassah Hospital and a large proportion of Arab doctors there as well. 
We cannot dismiss the canard of Israel abusing non-Jews as mere humor. The infamous antisemitic cartoons rampant in Germany in the 1930s were the precursors of the horrors of the persecution to follow.
We must answer even the slightest intimation of antisemitic commentary as strongly as possible, by presenting the facts of the matter in a venue to reach the same audience to which the remark was directed. It must be clear to comedians and others that antisemitic humor is unacceptable.

MARION REISS
Beit Shemesh 
 As someone who moved to Israel from the United States when I was much younger, I am fearful of the impact that the so-called joke by Michael Che on Saturday Night Live can have on anti-Israel propaganda in the US. And there is a thin line to cross between such anti-Israel propaganda and antisemitism in America.
Che’s comment may not have been meant as anti-Israel propaganda but could certainly be used as fodder for those who wish to promote their cause not against Israeli policy but against the very existence of the Jewish state. Indeed, a quick search on Twitter revealed to me that numerous anti-Israel activists are having a field day demonizing Israel with it.
Living in that Jewish state, I feel confident of who we are and know that we are not perfect. Living here also means being part of trying to improve our country to make it even better, not because of the ignorance that can lead to anti-Israel comments, intended or not, but because we ourselves are striving to be an example of how a democracy can inspire, even if the process can be messy.
Those who want us off the face of the map and misguided, massively factually erroneous comments under the guise of comedy, will not get in the way of our pride of who we are in the State of Israel.

DAVID JACOBY
Sderot
On the same day, both your editorial writer (“Unreasonable Response,” February 23) and Shmuley Boteach (“SNL’s Michael Che is not an anti-Semite”) sought to minimize the seriousness of a televised antisemitic joke. The editorial distinguishes the joke from a more blatantly antisemitic statement by Marc Lamont Hill, arguing that the response to the joke is an overreaction. Boteach says that, rather than attacking Che as an antisemite, “we can be far more effective respecting him and giving him the facts.” 
These arguments miss crucial points. 
The joke was no mere use of vaguely hurtful language. It affirmed the recent iteration of the ancient blood libel that asserts that Israel is protecting its Jewish citizens while withholding the life-saving COVID vaccine from non-Jews. We know what has happened to Jews whenever similar blood libels took hold during times of social strain. 
Even if the joke were only a minor offense, we have been lectured for the past few years on the importance of stamping out “micro-aggressions” against racial groups. Seemingly no slight in word or deed is too small to reveal the demons of underlying racism. We are told that the only way to expiate our innate racism is to admit our guilt and then to be “less white.” It seems, however, that we Jews need react only to the most blatant frontal assault. Anything less is unworthy of comment. We should just, “Get over it.” 
It may well be that Che – the man – is not an antisemite. But his joke clearly was antisemitic. We can educate him by showing how hurtful his comments were even as we avoid judging his inner thoughts. 
Law enforcement officials know that ignoring small infractions can lead to more serious transgressions as petty criminals learn to act with impunity. So too, allowing this joke to go unremarked would invite even more offensive violations of the truth and defamation of our people in the future. 
EFRAIM A. COHEN
Zichron Yaakov
In this “politically correct” era when it is beyond the pale to make ethnic remarks or jokes on TV about – God forbid – blacks or women or gays for example – it is good to know that one can still have good fun making racist jokes about Jews and Israel – the more outrageous the better, apparently.
If Michael Che were to crack anti-Moslem jokes on air, he would probably lose his job (and possibly his life). But crack a joke that is false and hurtful to Jews and there is no fear of real repercussion.
If you are a Jew and have a problem with that, just shut up – you will only be told that you are being petty and oversensitive.

STEVE STEINMAN
Kiryat Shmona
Regarding the editorial “Unreasonable response” (February 23), the so-called joke aired on Saturday Night Live which you downplay as merely insensitive is clearly much more overt than that and has clear antisemitic overtones.
Yes, as you rightly state, antisemitism is a serious charge, and far from crying wolf on this occasion, it is more than justified to call out the perpetrators and hold the individual in question and the network (NBC) as guilty as charged.
I thought the days were gone when Jews turned the other cheek to offensive remarks and insults. In this case, the old adage clearly applies: “When someone spits in your face, don’t say it’s raining.”

STEPHEN VISHNICK
Tel Aviv
PA vaccine obligation is no joke
Regarding “Palestinian COVID vaccine plan faces large funding gap, World Bank says” (Jpost.com February 22), perhaps the World Bank could suggest to the PA and Hamas that their rulers donate some of the money they have embezzled (from the people who live under their administration) so that there will be sufficient funds available to purchase vaccines and launch a successful inoculation program. 
Of course, there are other possible fundraising mechanisms. The PA could stop giving stipends to Palestinians who have attacked and murdered Israelis and Hamas could stop digging tunnels under Israel to facilitate the abduction and murder of Israelis.
And, while I am dreaming of new approaches to long-ingrained procedures, may I ask if Reuters requires that newspapers must print its stories verbatim? Surely, The Jerusalem Post knows that Israel didn’t “capture” the “West Bank” and Gaza in 1967. Israel liberated those areas from illegal Jordanian and Egyptian occupation only after Jordan allied with Syria and Egypt in a war instigated with the open intent of destroying Israel and annihilating her people.
Furthermore, it is not only that Israel “says” that the Palestinian leaders are responsible for their people’s health care and vaccinations. The obligation is stated in the 1995 Oslo Accords (Annex III, Article 17).
TOBY F. BLOCK
Atlanta, GA 
To impeach – or freedom of speech?
Regarding “Trump’s second acquittal from impeachment” (February 22), there were a few facts that were omitted.
• In Trump’s speech on the day of the riot he called on those in attendance to go peacefully and patriotically to the Capitol to make their voices heard. This is protected speech under the US law. 
• The encroachment was planned days before and this fact was known to law enforcement agencies who recommended that further security be provided. For whatever reason, no action was taken by those responsible. 
• The test for impeachment under the constitution is “Treason, Bribery of Other High Crimes or Misdemeanors.” 
I think it is incumbent on reporters like Susan Hattis Rolef, as journalists, to check out the facts, rather than following her usual biases.
DAVID SMITH
Ra’anana
In “Trump’s Second Acquittal from Impeachment,” Susan Hattis Rolef misunderstands the nature of the impeachment process of federal officials as set forth in the constitution of the United States.
The Senate did not vote “against impeachment” as she argues. Donald Trump had already been impeached by the House of Representatives by a majority vote. The term “impeachment” is the equivalent of “indictment,” that is an accusation of illegal behavior on the part of a person or organization by the competent authority, in this case the House of Representatives by a simple majority vote. The Senate then tries the accused and may convict him/her by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting. 
Three presidents have been impeached, Trump twice; none has been convicted and removed from office, or in the case of the second Trump impeachment, prevented from running again for the presidency. 
The writer is a former US government official in the National Security Council and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
NORMAN A. BAILEY, PH.D.
Netanya, Israel
Hobson’s choice
Senior Rabbi of the Jewish Council of the Emirates Eli Abadie might want to restrain his enthusiasm about the coming revival of New Beth Din of Arabia. (“‘Beth Din of Arabia could revive Jewish-Muslim golden age,’” February 22).
Sayyid Qutb, the 20th century’s most influential Islamic theorist, has made clear that “the people of the book” today and going back to the Treaty of Omar have only three choices: convert to Islam, die or accept a lifetime of humiliation as a dhimmi. 
For Qutb that is the only meaning of the koranic principle that “there is no compulsion in religion.” The only choice Jew has is to select conversion, death or dhimmitude. Islam does not compel which, but the Jew must choose one. 
That is the whole of what Islam offers to “the people of the book” – golden age or not.
RICHARD SHERMAN
Margate, Florida
It’s my party
If Meirav Michaeli is claiming that she is recreating the Labor Party (“Will Merav Michaeli resuscitate Labor?” February 1), the founders of the party must be turning over in their graves. 
The party of David Ben-Gurion promoted acquisition of land for the Jews of Israel and while they encouraged the Arabs who were living in the country to remain, they should do so only as loyal Israeli citizens. 
At no point would they have accepted as a candidate an Arab who has stated publicly that she is against the Jewish legitimacy in the land. How times have changed – and if the Supreme Court allows this candidate to run, for shame!
ANNABELLE HOROWITZ
Petah Tikva
Free party plug
Alon Tal is running on Blue and White’s slate for the 24th Knesset. Of course he wants the “Anglos” to vote for Blue and White and in a half-page article (“Why Blue and White is the logical choice for Anglo voters,” February 22), he passionately explains why by extolling the virtues of Benny Gantz as well as the Number 2 candidate, Pnina Tamano-Shata, Israel’s Aliyah and Immigration minister. 
The half-page article in the Comments and Features section is nothing but a free political advertisement by an obviously highly biased individual. This is not journalism – it is self-promotion and it is in contradiction to the writer’s claim to integrity. 
If you want to promote your political party subjectively, pay for the advertisement!
YIGAL HOROWITZ
Beersheba