May 3: Changed game

"Remote-control action against Hezbollah [in Syria] would have the potential to send a message to the ayatollah regime in Tehran".

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Changed game
Sir, – With regard to “Maintaining deterrence in the South... and North” (Analysis, May 1), those who wish to really play in US President Barack Obama’s “changed game” and restore Western credibility can imagine no better military target than the fanatical Hezbollah – not in Lebanon but in Syria.
Remote-control action against Hezbollah there also would have the potential to send a hot message to the evil ayatollah regime in Tehran to back out of the Fertile Crescent and even postpone its drive for nuclear weapons.
The toll from the massacres in Syria is already reaching 75,000 souls. It is not realistic to imagine that the despised Alawite and Christian populations (20 percent) could massacre the 70% Sunni majority, but it is not difficult to contemplate the reverse.
Therefore, there is a red bloodline in Syria to the east of the Alawite homeland.
And herein is the true moral dimension to the Syrian civil war – unless, of course, the West is prepared to send rescue ships to evacuate some one million Alawite and Christian women and children from the coast of Syria.
The writer visited Syria extensively in 1994 while on US Foreign Service assignment in Egypt.
President’s job
Sir, – “Pope accepts Peres’s invitation to visit Israel” (May 1) cites a statement from the Vatican saying President Shimon Peres and Pope Francis discussed a resumption of peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
These negotiations are a sensitive and controversial subject and are the prerogative of the prime minister, the foreign minister, members of the cabinet and Knesset, and ultimately the citizens of Israel. They are not within the mandate of the presidency, which is a symbolic office.
Unfortunately, Peres has not accepted his position and uses the title of his office as entrance to world leaders to promote his own political views and agenda.
Such conduct is not conducive to healthy governance.
Eloquent reminder
Sir, – I would like to join Michael Freund in welcoming Serbia’s Tomislav Nikolic to Israel (“‘Dobrodosli u Izrael,’ President Nikolic,” Fundamentally Freund, April 30). I will never forget Serbian hospitality and the word dobrodosli.
In May 1945, in the chaos that ensued after American troops liberated us from Dachau, we – skeletal survivors – had to fend for ourselves. We were taken to a former German military camp near Munich, where various ethnic groups freed from forced labor camps had taken up residence.
Each of the barracks was for a different nationality, the flags of their respective countries flying at the entrances. My ailing mother, wounded brother and I found ourselves aggressively chased out of a number of barracks until we came to a gate with the picture of Josip Broz Tito.
After a timid entrance we met two ex-prisoners who called out Dobrodosli! They helped my mother and me to settle into two empty cots in one of the rooms, and my brother in another.
Later, when my mother begged, they allowed us to bring my brother’s cot to our room.
That was Serbian kindness in the morass of post- Holocaust heartlessness. My gratitude to Freund for his eloquent reminder.
In “Armenian patriarch calls on Israel to recognize community’s genocide“ (April 30), a message read out by a senior representative of the Armenian Patriarchate was mistakenly attributed to Patriarch Nourhan Manougian. The message was in fact authored by someone else.
Sincere apologies are conveyed to the patriarch for any embarrassment or inconvenience the report might have caused.