November 19: Iran talks

It seems to me that the latest negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran are to provide employment for underworked civil servants.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Iran talks
Sir, – Regarding “Bid for more sanctions on Iran could reach US Senate this week” (November 17), I am a simple person who does not understand the finer points of diplomacy and politics, and what is or is not political correctness.
Yet it seems to me that the latest negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran are to provide employment for underworked civil servants.
If, as Iran says, its nuclear operations are for peaceful purposes and medicine, why does it need thousands of centrifuges centrifuging away? Russia has already supplied it with a nuclear power station. All it needs to do is open its nuclear facilities to inspectors and, lo and behold, the sanctions will be lifted.
If Tehran refuses, it will be obvious that it is trying to get the bomb. What, therefore, are the negotiations about?
Sir, – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and certain members of Knesset seem unhappy with the easy terms the United States has agreed upon with Iran. They would prefer more radical terms to force Tehran to immediately stop its drive toward nuclear weapons.
Could it be that they taught this to the US when they agreed to free prisoners with blood on their hands before any agreement with the Palestinians? It is time for them to do some homework and check their own policies before accusing others.MIRIAM PLITNICK Jerusalem
Classroom laxity
Sir, – With regard to “But I don’t have any homework!” (Comment & Features, November 17), when I came to live in Israel in 1988 I taught for several months in two schools in Gan Yavne. I was horrified to see that although my fellow teachers gave out a lot of homework, very few (unlike in the system in the UK) were strict about getting the homework back, and even fewer actually went through it and marked it or went over it during the next lesson.
One of the advantages of assigning homework is that from what is handed in, the pupil can be assessed as to how much of the previous lesson was truly absorbed.
There are times when teachers also need supervision, and I have always regarded this laxity as one of the main failings in the education system here.GLORIA MOUND Netanya
No less important
 Sir, – Reader Isidore Solomons (“Math at the Kotel, Letters, November 15) suggests that because the number of worshipers belonging to Women of the Wall is very small compared to the number of traditional (Orthodox) worshipers, and because in democracies the majority rules, it follows that the demands of the group should be denied.
Beyond the principle of majority rule, true democracies are also bound by a no less important principle: fairness and respect toward minorities.
We, as Jews, are particularly indebted to the benevolent treatment of minorities for the religious freedom and prosperity we have enjoyed in most Western democracies over the past hundred or so years. Surely an arrangement can be worked out whereby the majority at the Wall treats the minority with fairness and respect, even though that minority chooses to worship differently.MAYER BASSAN Jerusalem Look eastward
Sir, – I was pleased to read the article quoting Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak on his ruling that under Jewish law, women are forbidden to drive (“Amnon Yitzhak: Don’t allow women to drive,” November 14).
His reference to driving wagons helped to extend the argument. I could also see the argument that shopping in public places causes women to be liable to immorality and that, indeed, it “causes others to stumble and err.”
Fortunately for the leaders of haredi communities, there is an ideal place for them to settle away from such temptation, and that is Saudi Arabia.MOISHE VEEDER Netanya Buying the lies
Sir, – Lars Faarborg-Andersen (“Delegitimizing Europe?” Comment & Features, November 14) clearly demonstrates why the European Union is deeply unpopular with wide sections of its own population and is seen in Israel as an irrelevant and harmful force.
Faarborg-Andersen defends the EU with all the macro statistics that the mega-machine in Brussels loves quoting, ignoring the deep alienation felt by the citizen on the street for the remote, often absurd bureaucracy that spews out endless regulations in language impenetrable to any but the incurably bored.
In the Middle East, the EU reaches record heights of hypocrisy and self-delusion. It has completely bought the demonstrably mendacious Palestinian narrative of an occupied Samaria and Judea even though in legal, historical and moral terms it is not occupied, but disputed. It has bought the lie that Jewish communities there are illegal even though senior international jurists and repeated explanations (some recently published in this paper) have clarified that there is no international law that has ever been broken.
The EU continues to claim moral equivalence between peace-seeking, democratic Israel and the hate-mongering, ferociously violent Arab aggressors, who tried repeatedly to destroy Israel before there was a state (1929-1947) and before a single Jew ever lived in the disputed areas (1948-1967). It spouts mantras about both sides facing hard decisions while in practice Israel releases scores of convicted murderers while the Palestinians continue to incite, hate, murder and lie.
All of this is totally ignored by Faarborg-Andersen. His mission will be doomed to failure without a complete turnaround by the EU.ANTHONY LUDER Rosh Pina The writer is a citizen of the EU
Sir, – European Union ambassador- designate Lars Faarborg-Andersen writes at length about the EU’s divergent way on how to achieve a two-state solution. He in particular relies on a World Bank report that lays out ways in which the Palestinian GDP could be increased.
One of the ways is by encouraging tourism to Gaza. Any Israeli who saw the recent celebratory military parade there would know that this is pure lunacy. I suspect the ambassador-designate knows this – but of course it does not suit his argument to acknowledge that with Hamas controlling Gaza and the Palestinian Authority controlling much of the West Bank, there is an irreconcilable obstacle to there ever being a Palestinian State. Thus, his argument has no legs to stand on.
Of course, blaming Israel is an easy diversion.
There is no reason for Israel to make the conundrum the EU has gotten itself into easier to resolve.
Rather, it is time the EU acknowledged the fallacy of its discriminatory position of trying to impose sanctions on Israeli institutions solely because of their having a presence in the West Bank.
It is also noteworthy that Faarborg- Andersen remains silent on why this is not done in other areas the EU considers occupied, such as Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus.PETER SIMPSON Jerusalem Animal suffering
Sir, – Words fail me to express my joy in reading “PM, wife join Meatless Monday initiative” (November 12).
From the time of the Bible to the current animal rights movement, my fellow Jews have been at the forefront of including animals in their circle of compassion.
Yet, sadly, kosher slaughterhouses have been documented to be among the most cruel, a true violation of our faith.
The first thing that busy individuals who might be involved in a variety of causes can do is stop chewing on dead animals that suffered so much before ending up on a dinner plate.
JAYN BROTMAN Cincinnati, Ohio