February 13: Forget the impossible

With what are we going to Iran? Super bombers and 12-ton bombs?

Letters 521 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Letters 521
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Forget the impossible
Sir, – Having looked at a map of Iran and in view of the current hysteria of attacking that country (“Lieberman continues heated rhetoric on Iran: If sanctions don’t work, all options are open,” February 10), a few basic questions arise.
The distance is far. It is not Syria or even Iraq, so how do we get there? Crossing lengthy and hostile distances undoubtedly well-supplied with anti-aircraft missiles and even fighter planes is an unlikely option.
With what are we going there? Super bombers and 12-ton bombs? How many do we have of each? The answer is probably zero.
Assuming these fantasy bombers existed, which of the undoubtedly numerous underground bunker factories would they attack in a country about half the size of Europe? The sooner we concentrate on ensuring that we have adequate missile protection to destroy any nasties that might be sent at us and forget about the impossible, the more secure we can feel in Israel.
Petrified picture
Sir, – In “Israel slams award to ‘anti-Semitic’ pastor” (February 10), you mention “the Bergen- Belsen extermination camp in Poland.” Actually, the camp was in the heart of Germany.
Perhaps it can be considered a minor error, but it petrifies a grim picture of Poland as the only place of Holocaust.
ROBERT ALICKI Rehovot The writer teaches at the University of Gdansk and is currently Weston Visiting Professor at the Weizmann Institute
No logic
Sir, – Your editorial “Electoral reform” (February 10) mentions, almost as an afterthought, Prof.
Uriel Reichman.
Reichman founded the Constitution for Israel movement in the late 1980s. Our logo was “Changing the System of Government in Israel.” Our platform was 1) direct election of the prime minister, 2) adoption of a Bill of Rights, and 3) changes in the system for electing MKs.
As the movement gained traction it began to interest the political parties. Both the Likud and Labor were prepared to support our agenda, but wanted first to enact the direct election of the prime minister, and only then pass the other two items. It was no great surprise to eventually discover that the direct election of the prime minister was all they were interested in and prepared to enact.
Since the direct election of the prime minister ended in abysmal failure, our movement faded away.
I see no logic whatsoever in your optimistic conclusion that this initiative “can succeed, where previous attempts failed.”
Direct election of the prime minister without a constitution and without changing the system of electing the Knesset simply cannot succeed. Developments of the past two decades should have taught us that things will only get worse.
Punching clocks
Sir, – I was overjoyed to read the response of readers regarding the salary increase for MKs (“Raising hackles,” February 10).
With all the problems facing Israel, half the time these MKs are absent or dozing in the plenum. Do they have the faintest idea how much of an increase senior citizens received in their pensions? It was a mere NIS 50 or thereabouts.
I think it’s high time our parliamentarians started punching time cards, like the recent ruling on doctors.
Isn’t enough
Sir, – Warren Goldstein sounds the alarm (Iran: Judgement time before G-d,” Sinai Today, February 10).
Ayatolla Ali Khamenei calls the Zionist regime a cancerous tumor and calls for the annihilation of Israel with Shahab 3 ballistic missiles. Rabbi Goldstein makes it quite clear that this is no empty threat and in return calls “for us, as Jews, to repent and engage in introspection.”
Luckily for Warren Goldstein, he doesn’t live in Israel.
Hard sell
Sir, – As a frequent visitor to Israel, I was surprised by “Fighting for Zionism” (Editor’s Notes, February 10), on the upcoming Jerusalem Post Annual Conference.
Are we trembling Israelites? We have already had a promo of Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon’s presentation, which literally begs for support from the Diaspora Jewish community. This is really scraping the barrel.
It’s also a shame that there is a paucity of women and young people speaking up for Israel.
You have left out some of your outstanding writers, who might have brought a more balanced perspective. A Nobel Prize winner might also have added to the attraction.
This conference could have been a fantastic opportunity to show the range of fascinating aspects of our society that are regularly included in your pages.
Sir, – In his promo for the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference, editor-in-chief Steve Linde puts former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at the top of his list of the “most eloquent advocates for Israel” who are scheduled to speak.
Neither by his actions nor by his words can Olmert be described as an eloquent advocate for Israel. He was severely criticized by the Winograd Commission for mismanagement of the Second Lebanon War. It was also then-prime minister Olmert who proposed that Israel withdraw to indefensible borders, share Jerusalem and hand over its holy sites to a multinational committee. It was Olmert who made the notorious statement, “We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies.”
Moreover, as several of your readers have already pointed out, it is totally unacceptable to have Olmert as one of your principle speakers while he is on trial on multiple charges of corruption.
Honestly, Ray...
Sir, – Ray Hanania ignores critical facts in order to paint Israel in the worst possible light (“An attack on Iran will only ignite the region,” Yalla Peace, February 9).
Regarding the Second Lebanon War, Hanania says that “Israel fired missiles at Hezbollah targets but Hezbollah… fired as many missiles back…. The Hezbollah response to Israel was unprecedented in scope and power.” He wants his readers to believe that Hezbollah fought a heroic war of self-defense in response to the aggressor, Israel. He hides the fact that Hezbollah fired rockets at Israeli border towns as a diversion for anti-tank missile attacks on two IDF Humvees patrolling the Israeli-side of the border. The ambush left three soldiers dead.
Two additional soldiers were taken by Hezbollah to Lebanon.
Five more were killed in a failed rescue attempt. Hezbollah fighters tried unsuccessfully to attack Israeli border outposts. Only then did Israel respond with airstrikes and artillery fire.
Hanania suggests that Iran could “turn the tables on Israel by asking why Israel can have nuclear weapons but no one else can.” Is he unaware that, unlike Iran, Israel has not threatened to wipe another country off the map? Even when facing the possibility of its own destruction during the Yom Kippur War, Israel did not employ its nuclear arsenal. One doubts that a nuclear armed Iran would make the same decision under similar circumstances.
Also, Iran is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Its pursuit of nuclear weapons violates the pact into which it entered voluntarily.
Hanania is entitled to object to Israel’s actions on moral grounds if he so desires. But he must provide complete and honest information before making those arguments.
EFRAIM A. COHEN Zichron Ya’acov