New London Day
Submitted September 15, 2012
Reading David Ignatius's September 15 op-ed, "U.S. can't let Israel force it into Iran war," I couldn't help but think of how wonderful hindsight is.
The world was virtually unanimous in condemning Israel when it destroyed Iraq's Osirak reactor in 1981; today, every sane person is grateful for that prophylactic action.
History will probably condemn Israel for not doing the same to Iran's nuclear program fifteen years ago.
I certainly don't want either the United States or Israel to be forced to take military action against Iran. I own a winter home in Israel and will probably wind up spending time in bomb shelters if there's a military confrontation.
On the other hand, I want a nuclear Iran even less, especially since with Iran developing ICBMs we won't be safe here in America, either. When we seem to be putting more effort into pressuring Israel not to take military action against Iran's nukes than we put into pressuring those mad mullahs, we only increase the long-term probability not only of war, but of nuclear war.
I'm currently reading "Why England Slept," the published version of John F. Kennedy's senior thesis at Harvard. The similarities to today's world are frightening. We need to wake up.
New York Times
Submitted September 28, 2012
Re The Times' September 27 editorial, "Talking at Cross Purposes," about the United Nations speeches by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the headline was right on but the rest of the editorial was way off base.
Netanyahu devoted most of his speech to the most serious immediate problem facing the world today, the drive by Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. Rather than, as The Times incorrectly reports, trying to get the world to take military action, Netanyahu is trying to get the world to wake up and take serious action that has a chance of making military action unnecessary.
Netanyahu paid little attention to the Palestinian Arabs for a very good reason: there is no chance for any progress as long as Mahmoud Abbas continues to refuse to negotiate while putting his effort into demonstrating that Mitt Romney's comment about the Palestinians "not wanting to see peace anyway" was correct.
Submitted October 1, 2012
Re the October 1 editorial, "Palestinian Authority's woes are a problem for US, Israel," the PA could make a significant dent in its financial problems if it stopped spending 6 percent of its budget paying jailed terrorists and the families of suicide bombers. As just one example, it pays Abbas al-Sayyeed $3,000 per month. Al-Sayyeed is in jail because he planned the 2002 Passover seder massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya, blowing up 30 civilians.
The PA also puts 48 percent of its expenditures into Hamas-ruled Gaza and pays 60,000 former employees to sit home.
For the Palestinian Authority, wasting donated money is a strategic ploy. Since its inception its leaders have successfully made alleged and self-induced weakness into a weapon against Israel, whose leaders have shown far more interest in the welfare of the Palestinian Arabs than either Yassir Arafat or Mahmoud Abbas, the so-called "moderate" who in 2008 refused to even respond to an Israeli offer of a Palestinian Arab state in the equivalent of all the disputed territories and since then has generally refused to even sit down and negotiate.
The statistics about payments to jailed terrorists and families of suicide bombers is available from many sources, including the Times of Israel article "PA spends 6% of its budget paying Palestinians in Israeli jails, families of suicide bombers," available at <http://www.timesofisrael.com/cash-strapped-pa-spends-4-5-million-per-month-compensating-security-detainees/>.
The statistics about Palestinian Authority spending in Gaza is also available from many sources, including the Commentary Magazine article "PA’s Fiscal Crisis Is Due to Gaza, Not Israel," <http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/09/20/pas-fiscal-crisis-is-due-to-gaza-not-israel/>.