November 7, 2017: Expose them all

Our readers weigh in.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Expose them all
“‘When Israelis, Arabs agree on Iran, world should listen’” by Tovah Lazaroff (November 6) does not refer to the missing, but obvious, reason why the world does not care to listen. The reason is greed.
The leading countries of the world support large businesses that make huge amounts of money trading with Iran. It may not be diplomatically appropriate to state this in plain language, but it is out there.
Perhaps constant exposure of, and references to, all the deals that are made with Iran might be helpful.

Arabs the main losers
Regarding “With Hariri gone, Israel has more leeway in next war with Lebanon” (November 6), the piece points only in one direction: that war with Lebanon and/or Iran is imminent.
Any war would constitute a staggering error of misjudgment. The magnitude of the crises in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen far exceeds that of the Israeli occupation of Arab lands. Also, the Arab world is in the grip of poverty, homelessness, rampant corruption, unemployment, gender inequalities, social stratification, the unequal distribution of power and wealth, and inequitable access to health care and social security.
Iran has emerged victorious in all its murky confrontations, whether in Syria, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, Iraq or, most recently, Qatar. Arabs are – and will be – the main losers and victims.
I can only say that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has gone to the bottom of global and regional priorities.


Sartorial misfire?
I’m not a conspiracy theorist and believe that slain Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s intentions toward the Jewish state were genuine (although certainly borne of self-interest, as are those of all responsible leaders). However, the picture you chose to accompany “Sadat’s visit” (Comment & Features, November 6) – one that also features prominently in the late Yehuda Avner’s The Prime Ministers – seems to tell a somewhat different story.
As pointed out to Mr. Avner several months before his death, Sadat’s choice of attire during this momentous visit was quite curious. Is it just me or are those swastikas on his tie? Was there not one adviser in Sadat’s sizable entourage who could have suggested stripes or a paisley instead?
No sainthood for Rabin
With regard to “85,000 at ‘national unity’ memorial for Rabin in TA” (November 5), although his murder was a dastardly and tragic act, the bullets that killed Yitzhak Rabin did not turn him into a saint.
Rabin’s contributions to the state certainly merit praise, and the tributes to his memory are warranted.
But this does not justify the accusation that opposition – even strong opposition – to some of his programs and policies fostered violence.
The majority of Israeli voters in retrospect believe the Oslo process to be an abject failure, so those of its remaining adherents, in their inability to convince people of its benefits, state that its rejection at this time would result in a terrorist atmosphere similar to that which caused Rabin’s death.
The Left seems to forget that it was Rabin himself who took extreme political positions, for example when he believed it to be morally correct to shoot in the water at Jewish refugees who had arrived on the Irgun ship Altalena.


Warm on Israel vs frigid
I take issue with former US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro’s defense of ex-president Barack Obama regarding international affairs (“Israel and Trump a year later: ‘How are we doing now?,’” Frontlines, November 3).
Shapiro told Herb Keinon that an America preeminent in international affairs is better able to protect Israel’s interests, implying that this was the case during the Obama presidency. I believe America’s international standing dropped precipitously under President Obama and that he disrespected our prime minister publicly, hurting Israeli interests. Failing to veto UN Security Council Resolution 2334 was the final twisting of the knife as Obama was leaving office.
The venerable saying remains true: It is better to be feared and respected than loved and ineffectual.
President Donald Trump is combative and unpredictable, which can work to his advantage. For sure, Trump is warm toward Israel while his predecessor was not only frigid, he let everyone know it.


Alfei Menashe
Wrong way around
There seems to be a trend these days to turn things on their head.
Your recent headline “Threat of retaliation by Islamic Jihad ‘is not over yet’” (November 2) is but one example. Since the first action in this story was the building of an attack tunnel from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, the headline surely should have read not “retaliation by Islamic Jihad,” but “escalation.”
It was Israel that was retaliating to an attack on its sovereign territory. The headline as it stands implies a first-strike by Israel, lacking any provocation, which is not the case. The attack against Israel has yet to be discussed, let alone condemned, by the United Nations, but as usual, we should not hold our breath.
There are endless examples of this trend these days regarding Europe, where it is known that hundreds of western Europeans have returned from fighting for Islamic State in Syria. So far, but a handful have been brought before a court of law, and very few have been convicted of any crimes despite evidence being available. By comparison, ousted Catalonian president Carles Puigdemont faces the possibility of a 30-year prison sentence for so-called “rebellion.” His crime was to allow Catalonians to vote in a referendum on independence, a vote deemed illegal by Spain.
In recent decades, there has been much store placed in “self-determination” by the European Union, but now, as Spanish police fire rubber bullets at voters in the streets, no prospect of intervention or help is on the horizon. Millions of Europeans died in recent centuries to be able to hold free and open elections and not to have to live under the yoke of despots and dictators.
I’m at a loss to understand how people who have most likely committed crimes against humanity get off scot-free while an act of civil disobedience earns the perpetrators draconian prison sentences. It seems that a lot of people are getting their priorities the wrong way around.
Tel Aviv
There were two editing errors in “The spirit of the ANZAC centennial” (Frontlines, November 3). There are several Commonwealth War Graves Cemeteries in Israel. The 90-minute service recognizing the sacrifices of ANZAC soldiers during the 1917 Battle of Beersheba took place at the cemetery in Beersheba, and not as stated. In addition, the Pratt Foundation sponsored a kosher barbecue for 600 people, but did not sponsor the horse parade.