February 1: Iran, the bomb

Would allowing the Iranians to drop a nuclear bomb on us be a thousandfold PR blessing?

Letters 521 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Letters 521
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Iran, the bomb
Sir, – The late Israeli satirist Efraim Kishon once lamented that Israel, by not allowing the Arab armies to win the Six Day War, forfeited worldwide sympathy, understanding and eloquent eulogies. Now we hear that Israel would be cast as the aggressor should it attack Iranian nuclear facilities (“An Israeli strike would be a blessing for Iran, says dissident,” January 30).
Would allowing the Iranians to drop a nuclear bomb on us be a thousandfold PR blessing?
Sir, – With reference to Barry Rubin’s “Israel is not about to attack Iran: Get used to it!” (The Region, January 30), ludicrous is the word that comes to mind when describing Rubin’s version of Israel’s “other” options.
How about some divergent thinking? If and when Iran has a nuclear bomb, all the cutting-edge defense technology and deterrence won’t come even close to being acceptable protection.
A bomb could easily be delivered by container ship, to name one of many methods obviating the use of missile delivery systems. It would have the added bonus of securing the sender’s anonymity.
Then Rubin’s pièce de résistance: “If and when there was a clear Iranian threat to attack Israel, then Israel could launch a preemptive assault.” There’s nothing preemptive about an assault on a clear threat; preemptive means to stop the threat, and there’s only one way to ensure this: Stop the possibility of Iran ever producing a nuclear bomb.
Prevention must be the name of the game, not containment.
Get used to it!
Sir, – In “The Zionist imperative” (Column One, January 27), Caroline B. Glick finally brought up the issue everyone has been avoiding.
The world around us is becoming surreal. How is it possible that there is almost no reaction to all the crazy things US President Barack Obama is doing? What is wrong with American Jews? Don’t they realize that they will be partly responsible for enabling another Holocaust? I really do not feel like being incinerated by a nuclear bomb.
This is not a joke. Our lives are at stake. The mutually assured destruction doctrine is inapplicable to Iran, but most American Jews have never even heard of the Mahdi.
Sir, – On many occasions and from various platforms, President Obama has declared that the US is and always will be committed to Israel’s security.
While there is absolutely no reason to suspect the sincerity of such declarations, one has to doubt their credibility.
As is well known, Israel’s security was jeopardized more than once in the past, and the only one that could and did guarantee the country’s survival was Israel itself.
Yet the main reason American assurances cannot be taken seriously is the fact that neither the US nor any other entity can guarantee the security of the Israeli people. Can Washington respond to every shelling against Israelis by Hamas or the Islamic Jihad? Will the US punish the murderers of Israeli women and children?
To each his own
Sir, – Eliyahu Federman, author of the very well written “The right of Jews to seek a homogeneous community” (Comment & Features, January 30), wrote: “The point is not which one is right, but that different communities have different standards that should be respected.”
In our democratic country, the right of every kibbutz to be a homogeneous community with different standards was and still is respected. This respect should be given also to other homogeneous communities.
Reward abilities Sir, – Amid the controversy over the reauthorization of the Tal Law (“Activists set up mock army base to protest Tal Law,” January 27), it is gratifying that Oren Almog, the young man blinded and facially disfigured by the 2003 bombing of the Maxim Restaurant in Haifa, has now voluntarily enlisted in the IDF. It is especially admirable that the army, after assessing his skills and abilities, has reportedly given him a substantive assignment that will make full use of his potential.
Almog’s refusal to take advantage of an optional exemption from military service that the army affords to people with disabilities raises the question as to why such an exemption exists in the first place.
Social protest leader Daphni Leef offers perhaps the best and most recent illustration of the senselessness of this policy. She was reportedly exempted from military service because of epilepsy, yet she was not only smart enough to draw attention to the need for social justice in Israeli society, she possessed the skill to rally the public to her cause and maybe even reorder our national priorities. That is true leadership, leadership Leef was not mandated to exercise in the service of the country’s defense and security.
The optional exemption from military service on grounds of disability is the relic of an outdated mindset that equates disability with inability, and stereotypes people with disabilities as being incapable of competition on an equal footing with so-called able-bodied counterparts.
It is time to radically change our thinking and make enlistment for people with disabilities mandatory.
Only when we learn to look past the disability of the whole person will we stop treating people with disabilities as fundamentally different and begin according young men such as Oren Almog the opportunity for service and self-fulfillment they deserve.
More Nayots
Sir, – On January 24 you ran an item under the headline “Record $225m. in Israel Bonds sold overnight.” The bonds were bought by Miami Jews. Their certificates undoubtedly will wind up in safe deposit boxes or private safes.
In 1960, a group of American olim, wanting to build a neighborhood of their own in Jerusalem, secured land from the JNF. Its members then turned to American holders of Israel Bonds to lend them to the mortgage fund of the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel (AACI). There they would be used as collateral for loans from banks to finance the construction of Nayot, a neighborhood of 84 apartments, each with six rooms, a private garden and separate entrance.
The American bondholders willingly lent their certificates and the neighborhood was built. We moved there in 1961 and returned the certificates, with interest, after two to three years. Special mention should be made of Werner Loval and Murray Greenfield, who led the project. Nayot proved itself. It saw no emigration, even in Israel’s darkest days.
Newcomers from the West today should be able to live together for at least the first crucial years in conditions similar to what they had before aliya. If there were 100 Nayots throughout the country, it would dramatically increase aliya from the West.
The original Nayot didn’t cost the government or Jewish Agency a cent. Why doesn’t the AACI, which today specializes in luxury cruises to China and other exotic places, as well as Thanksgiving Day dinners and Fourth of July outings, build more Nayots?
The Page 1 photograph on January 30 (“Those who serve”) was of government workers protesting outside the Prime Minister’s Office, and not as reported.
The January 29 photograph on Page 3, of Defense Minister Ehud Barak speaking in Davos (“Barak: Assad deserves to be toppled by his own people”), did not include IAEA chief Yukiya Amano.
We apologize for the errors.