Letters to the Editor: 10/2

Letters to the Editor: 10/2

Missing the point

In the Sept. 18 article about the inaugural events of Pittsburgh Chapter of the Middle East Institute (“Bahrain’s Jewish ambassador makes first U.S. speech here”), David Aaron, director for the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy is quoted as having told the crowd, “We can’t take care of Iraq and Iran until we address the situation in Israel with Palestine.”
“Experts” who think that forcing Israel to further concessions will solve all of our problems in the entire Middle East miss the point.
Stirring up outrage over Palestine allows dysfunctional Arab governments to distract their people from their political, social oppression and economic stagnation. By blaming Israel, Arab leaders divert their subjects’ attention from their real problems. The result is that rather than pushing for greater privatization, equality for women, democracy, civil society, freedom of speech, due process of law, or other similar improvements much needed in the Arab world, the “Arab street” focuses instead on hating Israel and the West.
Since Ahmadinejad has made it clear that he seeks nothing less than the total destruction of the Jewish state and all its inhabitants, it is unclear what Mr. Aaron would have Israel do to satisfy this genocidal madman other than pack up and end the Zionist enterprise.
I hope that the newly established Middle East Institute will not serve as another voice in the chorus of appeasers and defeatists who are only too happy to blame Israel for all the problems between the United States and the Middle East.

Deborah Fidel
Squirrel Hill

(Editor’s Note: The author is president, Zionist Organization of America–Pittsburgh District.)

Obama will just sit there

Earlier this year Sen. Barack Obama finally repudiated Rev. Wright’s anti-American, anti-white and anti-Israel sermons, because he had to do it to save his presidential campaign. Wright repeatedly used these sermons over the past 20 years at the Trinity United Church of Christ, where Obama has been a member for 20 years. Sen. Obama had to hear these sermons or discuss them with other members of the church, but he did not leave the church, he did not question Wright and his sermons, and he did not counter the sermons in any way.
Wright stated: “The U.S. invented HIV to wipe out blacks, the U.S. committed terrorism when we dropped the atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the U.S. brought on the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks because of our foreign policy. Wright also used the phrase “God Damn America.” Wright endorses Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, who is a fanatical extremist spewing hateful remarks about whites, females, Catholics, Jews and gays.
Do we want an inexperienced and untested President who will just sit and listen to and appease the anti-U.S. ranting of Amadinejad, Assad, Chavez, Castro and Kim Jong Il? Do we want a novice dealing with China and Russia?

Donald A. Moskowitz
Londonderry, NH

Political ad attacked

Last week’s ad that ran in Jewish newspapers across the country by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) quotes Democrats, including myself, saying good things about Republican nominee Senator John McCain.
Put aside the fact that the ad is deceptive — all four of us quoted are strongly supporting Sen. Barack Obama. When contrasted with the ad the RJC ran the week before this ad highlights the stunning cynicism with which the RJC approaches Jewish voters.
The previous week’s RJC ad disgracefully tried to tie Pat Buchanan to Obama. Yet they quote me the following week complimenting McCain from back in 1999 when McCain argued for throwing Buchanan out of the
Republican Party. What they do not tell us is that in the same
article in which I am quoted the RJC backed then-Governor George W. Bush’s position was not to banish Buchanan.
Do these folks have any shame?

Ira N. Forman
Washington, D.C.

(Editor’s Note: The author is executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council.)