October 6: Iran and the UN

Talk about the wolf guarding the henhouse: The UN elects Iran to a top position on one of its key panels

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Iran and the UN
Sir, – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, speaking before the UN General Assembly last week, called Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” (“PM tells UN: Israel will not allow a nuclear Iran,” October 2). The very next day, the same UN elected Iran to a top position on one of its key panels (“Iran gets senior seat on UN nuclear disarmament committee,” October 3).
Talk about the wolf guarding the henhouse.
LEONARD KAHN Zichron Ya’acov
Sir, – “Iran gets senior seat on UN nuclear disarmament committee” reveals that President Hassan Rouhani’s popularity is not a case of an Iranian wolf in sheep’s clothing, but rather an Iranian wolf among the pack – ready to feed.
Sir, – The visit to the UN by our prime minister made me think of the good cop, bad cop technique to drive home to Iran the simple message that non-compliance on nuclear capabilities would end in disaster for the Iranian regime.
US President Barack Obama (the good cop) talked of compromise and the use of diplomacy while Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (the bad cop) made it clear that Israel had taken on the role of enforcer and would monitor the situation very closely.
The Iranians may have had doubts as to whether the US would use military force, but there should be no doubts about Israel.
All in all it was a good week for the good guys.
They don’t get it
Sir, – J Street’s statement about Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to the UN General Assembly (“J Street: PM’s speech was missed opportunity,” October 2) reveals just how intellectually bankrupt and naïve the group is regarding the peace process. Why don’t its members get it? For now, well-meaning Palestinian leaders are overshadowed by radical groups such as Hamas.
That is why they can deliver only smiles and sweet-sounding words, nothing more.
US Secretary of State John Kerry is wasting his time.
Before any Palestinian leader can be a true peace partner, Hamas and other radical Islamic organizations calling for the destruction of the Jewish state, the Jewish people and other “infidels” must be eradicated from the face of the Earth. Only then can peace talks have merit and meaning, and bring longlasting peace.
Sir, – In the opinion of J Street, our prime minister missed an opportunity to address “the promise of a better future with the Palestinians.” To what promise exactly does J Street refer? Throughout the years, the Palestinians have, off and on, refused to sit down to talk peace, and when they speak with us they demand preconditions and concessions, and make promises they have no intention to keep. (Could those be the promises J Street dreams of?) Oslo is a good example.
There are too many people in the world (like US President Barack Obama) who, as violence and terror increase all around us, soothe themselves by announcing with delight how much progress is being made and how this is an important strategic change.
Take your heads out of the sand!
Glass houses
Sir, – David Newman’s weekly column is aptly named Borderline Views.
Now, in “Hijacking Zionism” (October 1), he takes a High Court decision that cleared Im Tirtzu of the “fascist” label and chooses to read between the lines and present as fact that which was not said – that the court’s ruling “does imply that certain equivalencies [to fascism] exist.”
Newman also chooses to label and discredit right-wing olim from the former Soviet Union as “ex-Soviet members of the Knesset.”
Does he call olim from Morocco “ex-Moroccan members of the Knesset?” Obviously, the writer’s political sympathies lie at the other side of the spectrum and a practical effect of his reading of the case would be to ban Im Tirtzu and who knows who and what else.
But the repression of freedom of speech and political views is undemocratic and itself bordering on fascist.
People in glass houses should not throw stones.
Sir, – NGO Monitor’s efforts to gain transparency for the European Union’s large-scale and secret funding of political advocacy NGOs has been the subject of numerous uninformed and often false statements, such as in “Hijacking Zionism.”
The EU’s secret processes, by which marginal anti-peace organizations and groups that abuse the banner of human rights receive millions of taxpayer euros every year, clearly violate the principles of democracy and good governance.
Non-transparency in public funding suggests that the parties are hiding details that would be embarrassing or worse.
When the EU stonewalled NGO Monitor’s request for significant documentation, we petitioned the European Court of Justice to order the release of the documents, as required by the EU’s Freedom of Information law. But after almost three years, and in violation of due process standards, the court did not even hold a hearing and rejected the request, claiming it was a matter of “public security.”
In contrast, a number of responsible members of the European Parliament as well as policy makers in member states have recognized the damage caused by this anti-democratic process.
Jerusalem The writer is NGO Monitor’s legal adviser
Putting it mildly
Sir, – Greer Fay Cashman writes about the festivities surrounding the anniversary of reuniting Berlin and its becoming the capital of a reunited Germany (“A capital conundrum,” Grapevine, October 2).
The irony is that in Israel, the main celebration of the reunification of Germany’s historic capital will not be in this country’s historic capital.
Germany, Germans and the rest of the world may delight in Berlin’s reunification, but they deny Israel and the Jewish people the right to have their own historic capital reunited and internationally recognized as such. What did not work for Germans, the world says, must work for Jews.
I believe the correct description of this attitude is “prejudice,” to put it mildly.
Seeking relief
Sir, – Day after day, month after month, we Jerusalem Post readers are subjected to op-eds and features from The New York Times. But the Times long ago stopped being a centrist paper and is now a rather biased, leftleaning publication. It is also a constant critic of Israeli government policies and actions.
We have enough bad news and reports of bias against Israel all over the world. Must we have to endure it in our paper of choice? If the Post has some sort of unbreakable contract with the Times, why can’t we have centrist, humorous David Brooks rather than irrelevant, sarcastic Maureen Dowd? Why is Tom Friedman sacrosanct when he, too, is scrambling to avoid irrelevancy? Why not excerpts from the Wall Street Journal or The Washington Post? Surely, either one would be a relief from the Times.
We can take criticism, but the Times these days goes much too far. Why reward it? JAN GAINES Netanya