Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wake up, stand up

This letter by PRIMER Board Member Dan Schaefer appeared in the Washington Jewish Week.

Jonathan Tobin's recent op-ed "Barack Obama's age of moral equivalence" (WJW, June 11) correctly stated that Obama's Cairo speech was "morally unserious."

For example, Obama complained about occupation for Palestinian Arabs, but failed to disclose their horrific terrorism that necessitated these conditions. This was misleading and deceptive. He also stated: "No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons." This could deny Israel the right single-handedly to prevent Iran from developing nuclear arms.

Furthermore, Obama said, "I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not," and hoped that "all countries in the region" shared the goal of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Article VI of that treaty, as interpreted by some governments, would require Israel to abandon any nuclear advantage she may have.

The present controversy with Obama thus involves not merely settlements, but also an attempt to impair Israel's security measures, no matter how justified, and to alter the military balance of power to Israel's disadvantage and harm. Obama fails to distinguish between aggressor and victim. This is like equating the Holocaust Memorial murderer with the armed security guards who shot him down in self-defense and defense of other innocents.

It's time for the Jewish community and its leaders, as well as Congress, to wake up and have the courage to stand up.

Daniel R. Schaefer
Hartford, Conn

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